George Furey

Joseph Édouard Cauchon Leo Housakos Incumbent

George Furey

George Furey 2016.jpg
Speaker of the Senate of Canada
Assumed office
December 3, 2015
Nominated byJustin Trudeau
Appointed byDavid Johnston
Preceded byLeo Housakos
Senator from Newfoundland and Labrador
Assumed office
August 11, 1999
Nominated byJean Chrétien
Appointed byRoméo LeBlanc
Preceded byWilliam Petten
Personal details
Born (1948-05-12) May 12, 1948 (age 72)
St. John's, Newfoundland
Political partyNon-affiliated
Other political
Liberal (until 2014)
Independent Liberal
Children4 including Andrew
ProfessionEducator, school administrator

George J. Furey, QC (born May 12, 1948 in St. John’s, Newfoundland) is a Canadian Senator representing Newfoundland and Labrador and currently serves as the 45th Speaker of the Senate of Canada.

Education and Career

Furey earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Memorial University in 1970. He also completed a Master of Education Degree from Memorial in 1976. After graduating, he worked as a teacher for the Roman Catholic School Board in St. John's from 1969 to 1972. From 1972 to 1978, Furey was a Supervising Vice Principal with the Port-au-Port Roman Catholic School Board and from 1978 to 1980 Supervising Principal of the Placentia-St. Mary's Roman Catholic School Board.

After a career in education, he went on to earn a law degree from Dalhousie University in 1983. He was called to the Newfoundland Bar in 1984. Furey was later named a partner at the St. John's law firm of O'Brien, Furey & Hurley. By 1989, he was a senior partner at the law firm of O'Brien, Furey & Smith. He was appointed as Queen's Counsel in 1996.  [1]

Community Involvement

Furey given his time to numerous voluntary groups, professional boards and provincial commissions, including the Newfoundland Teachers' Association, Scouts Canada, the St. Clare's Mercy Hospital Ethics Committee, the Gonzaga High School Council and the Provincial Police Complaints Commission.

Senate of Canada

Furey was summoned to the Senate of Canada on the recommendation of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien on August 11, 1999. As a Senator, he has been a member of several Senate committees and has served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.[2]

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced that all Liberal Senators, including Furey, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as unaffiliated Senators.[3]

Following the retirement of David Tkachuk on February 18, 2020, he is the longest-serving member of the Senate.

Speaker of the Senate

On December 3, 2015, Furey was appointed Speaker of the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replacing Senator Leo Housakos. He resigned from the Independent Liberal caucus upon assuming the Speaker's chair.[4]

As Speaker, Furey presides over a period of Senate reform. In his opening address, he highlighted a need for the Senate to reinvent itself and to fulfil its role, as intended by the constitution, as an independent institution "of sober second thought".[5] Furey also performs diplomatic duties in his role as Speaker, representing the Senate and Canada at home and abroad, meeting foreign dignitaries and visiting numerous countries over the course of his Speakership.

In 2020, Furey's son Andrew announced his candidacy for leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and was elected leader in August 2020.[6]