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Senator Brent Cotter (left) is sworn in inside the Senate Chamber on Feb. 4 as Senator Marc Gold looks on. (Supplied by Senate of Canada)

Sask.'s new senator wants to give the Prairies a voice in Ottawa

Senator Brent Cotter (BComm'71) says the Senate is a less politically partisan than it has been in the past.

Saskatchewan's new senator Brent Cotter (BComm'71) says he's not a politician but he's worked with a lot of politicians and has an understanding of legislative processes and public policy, as reported by CBC News.

"While I'm respectful of the Liberals and the Liberal politicians and the Conservatives and Conservative politicians, I haven't ever been one and I don't feel in any way beholden to conclusively partisan view on every issue," he said.

Cotter has worked as a public servant for the Saskatchewan government in justice and Indigenous relations, and he is a former dean of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan.

He was sworn in this month as an independent senator. He submitted an application to sit on the Senate in 2018. Under reforms introduced by the Trudeau government, an independent appointments board compiles a list of eligible people to help the prime minister make his picks for the appointed chamber.

Cotter said he applied because the Senate is a less politically partisan than it has been in the past.

"If you look at the composition of the various groups in the Senate, it's something that we have never seen before in the history of the country."

Cotter said he hopes to give Saskatchewan and Alberta a voice in the senate and that while he hasn't been assigned to any committees yet, he's interested in working on files related to energy, environment and resources.

Cotter served as the province's deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general. He currently chairs the Government of Saskatchewan's Public Complaints Commission, a body that hears complaints about alleged municipal police misconduct.

He is also a member of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada Advisory Committee on Implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.

Article orginally published at https://www.cbc.ca/news/.

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