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Speaker of the Senate

The Speaker of the Senate is the impartial "referee" of the Senators and is 8th on the Canadian Order of Precedence. The Speaker is appointed by the Prime Minister and is responsible for keeping order and following protocol in the House.


Order and Decorum

As the Senate's presiding officer, it is the Speaker's responsibility to maintain order and decorum inside the Senate chamber. Like any legislature, the Senate is governed by rules and conventions. The Speaker chairs the sittings of the "red chamber," presides over votes, and rules on points of order as well as points of privilege raised by senators.

The Speaker's rulings can be challenged and subjected to a vote. Therefore, it is important for rulings to reflect the wishes of the majority of senators. A referee, and sometimes a coach, the Speaker must ensure that the process is fair and equitable for all parties.


The Speaker of the Senate is fourth on the Order of Precedence following the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In this respect, protocol requires the Speaker to be involved in most state visits not only in a ceremonial role but also to receive visiting Heads of State or Heads of Government in the Speaker's chambers, usually with other parliamentarians and officials. The Speaker is required to interact on a regular basis with diplomats based in Canada as a means of advancing our country's relations with the world. He is also expected to travel internationally on behalf of the Canadian Parliament and sometimes as the government's representative.

The Honourable George Furey

A distinguished educator and lawyer, with deep roots in the community, George Furey is one of the leading citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Furey is a native of St. John's. He earned two B.A.s from Memorial University (1970-71) and a Master of Education from Memorial in 1976. From 1969-72, he was a teacher with the Roman Catholic School Board in St. John's. From 1972-78, he was a Supervising Vice Principal with the Port-au-Port Roman Catholic School Board and from 1978-80 Supervising Principal of the Placentia-St. Mary's Roman Catholic School Board.

The Honourable George Furey
The Honourable George Furey
In 1980, Mr. Furey enrolled at Dalhousie University, earning his LL.B in 1983. He was admitted to the Newfoundland Bar in 1984. In 1985, he was named a partner in the St. John's law firm O'Brien, Hurley & Smith. In 1989, he was named Senior Partner in the firm O'Brien, Furey & Smith. In 1993, Mr. Furey was appointed to the Provincial Police Complaints Commission. He was named Queen's Counsel in 1996.

Mr. Furey is also a widely respected community leader, giving his time to numerous, voluntary groups, professional boards and provincial commissions, including: the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (Vice President, Appalachia Branch - 1976-77; President, Placentia Branch - 1977-78); Scouts Canada (Scout Leader - 1982-84); St. Clare's Mercy Hospital Ethics Committee (1991); The Newfoundland Liquor Corporation (Director - 1990-97; Chair -1997 to 1999); and, the Gonzaga High School Council (1999).

Mr. Furey and his wife, Karen, have four children: Andrew, Meghan, Rebecca, and David.

SOURCES: The Speaker of the Senate.

See also
Former Speakers of the Senate
Former Speakers Pro Tempore of the Senate
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

External Links
Senate of Canada Official Website
Speaker of the Senate Official Website

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt