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Senator Forest-Niesing passes away from COVID-19

Ontario Senator Josée Forest-Niesing has passed away from complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forest-Niesing a relatively new comer to the Upper Chamber - being appointed in 2018 by Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau.

Senator George Furey the Speaker of the Senate announced via twitter the passing of his colleague, "It is with immense sadness that I learned of the passing of our friend and colleague, the Honourable Josée Forest-Niesing."

Furey went on to added that Forest-Niesing had a long career practicing law in her hometown of Sudbury Ontario.

"Senator Forest-Niesing contributed to her community as a member and chair of numerous boards of directors, and she will be remembered as an ardent and passionate defender of access to justice in both official languages."

Alberta Senator Paul Simons said in a tweet Saturday morning that Canada has lost a remarkable person, "Witty, graceful, a passionate champion of Franco-Ontario, and of human rights and social justice, (Forest-Niesing) brought intellectual rigour and compassion to every debate."

Simons added, "She was a gifted Senator and a wonderful human being. We were sworn in together as part of the same group of appointees, and our whole cohort was warmed by her charm, her humour and her fierce intelligence."

Prime Minister Trudeau released a statement later in the evening on Saturday after the news broke of the Senators passing.

"Throughout her life, Senator Forest-Niesing passionately defended and promoted access to justice and public services in both official languages as well as in sign language, including for Indigenous communities.

"She contributed to her community as an active member or chair of numerous boards of directors, notably for the Art Gallery of Sudbury, the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury, and the University of Sudbury. She was the founding chair of the Centre canadien de français juridique, a former chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Official Languages Committee, and a recipient of the AJEFO’s Order of Merit," the Prime Minister stated.

Senator Forest-Niesing was 56.


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