Dennis Dawson

Senator Dennis Dawson

The Senate cannot and must not allow itself to be intimidated. That is the exercise of sober second thought, the essential function of the Senate.


Dennis Dawson was born in Quebec City on September 28, 1949. He studied political science at Laval University and at the University of Ottawa where he completed his Bachelor’s degree. He also earned a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Laval University. He began his career in public life as one of the youngest elected school board trustees in Quebec, before becoming President of Quebec's second largest school board, the Quebec City Catholic school board.

In 1977, Dennis Dawson was elected for the first time as one of the youngest Members of Parliament in Canadian history at age 27. He won a by-election under the banner of the Liberal Party of Canada in Louis-Hébert and went on to serve his constituents there for three consecutive terms. He also chaired the Quebec caucus after working as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Employment and Immigration as well as to the Minister of Labour.

He later launched and ran one of Canada’s leading government relations firms in Quebec City and Montreal where he provided government relations services and developed public affairs strategies.

Mr. Dawson was appointed to the Senate in August 2005 on the advice of Prime Minister Paul Martin. He represents the Senate division of Lauzon in Quebec. Since his appointment, he has contributed to a number of standing and special committees such as Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and in his past role as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications. He is a former member of the executive of the Association des parlementaires de la francophonie, former co-chair of the Canada-Arab World Parliamentary Association, and former member of the executive committee of the Canadian Inter-Parliamentary Union group. He is currently a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.

Mr. Dawson is passionate about politics in all its forms, but is especially interested in parliamentary diplomacy. Outside politics, his interests include winter and summer sports, and music. He is married and has two daughters and one son.