Senator Joan Fraser was appointed to the Senate on September 17, 1998 by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien. She represents the Senatorial Division of De Lorimier in the province of Quebec.
Senator Fraser is the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. She is also a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
Senate Fraser was the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from April 2006 to January 2007, and again from August 2013 to June 2016. From November 2007 to June 2013 she was Chair and then Deputy Chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Earlier she was Chair of both the Transport and Communications Committee (2003-2005) and the Special Senate Committee on Bill C-20, the “Clarity Bill” (2000). She has also been a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance and the Special Committee on Anti-terrorism. She was Chair of the Senate Liberal Caucus from 1999 to 2002.
Senator Fraser is well-known to Canadians as a journalist and commentator. She began her career in print journalism, joining the Montreal newspaper The Gazette as a cub reporter in 1965. In 1967, she joined the Financial Times of Canada, where over the following eleven years she served as news editor, editorial page editor and Montreal bureau chief. In 1978, she returned to The Gazette as editorial page editor. In 1993, she was appointed Editor-in-Chief, a post she held until 1996. From 1997 to 1998, she was Director-General of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, a division of the Council for Canadian Unity. In addition to her long experience in print journalism, Senator Fraser has extensive broadcast experience on radio and television, in both English and French.
She has won two National Newspaper Awards for editorial writing (1982 and 1991), and four National Newspaper Award Citations of Merit for editorial writing (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994). She has also won other awards for journalism, communications, and her work on women’s issues.
Senator Fraser holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from McGill University (1965).
Senator Fraser lives in Montreal; she is married to Michel Faure. They have two children: Elisabeth and Isabelle.