Senator Marc Gold
Senator Gold was named Government Representative in the Senate in January 2020.
When Marc Gold joined the growing number of independent senators in the fall of 2016, he came with the view that the primary role of the Senate was to provide a critical review of Government legislation and to ensure that Canada’s most fundamental constitutional values were respected.
It’s a belief he continues to hold strong since he took on the role of Government Representative in the Senate.
“If the Senate is just an echo chamber of the House of Commons, it doesn’t add any real value,” Senator Gold said. “As an unelected Chamber, the Senate was designed to play a complementary role to the elected House in our constitutional system.”
Senator Gold was appointed to the Senate of Canada during a period of profound change. It was the year that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began fulfilling his promise of creating a Senate that would be more independent and less partisan; a Senate that would achieve its constitutional role of sober second thought and provide advice to the government. The Red Chamber had to move away from being viewed as simply a rubber stamp.
As a graduate of McGill University, the University of British Columbia and Harvard Law, and as a former Associate Dean and Law Professor at Osgoode Hall School, Senator Gold understands the Canadian Constitution and the Senate’s place within it. From 1979 to 1991, he taught Canadian Constitutional Law and is still a regular lecturer at McGill University. In his early career, he was one of a handful of academics asked to provide training for federally appointed judges in the area of constitutional law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
After leaving academic life, Senator Gold dedicated much of his time to service in his community in Montreal. Among his many accomplishments, he served for 10 years as the Chair of ENSEMBLE pour le respect de la diversité (formerly the Tolerance Foundation), a not-for-profit organization that works with youth to build a more open and inclusive society. It currently reaches more than 25,000 young people annually in schools throughout Quebec and Canada.
Senator Gold is also a member of the board of directors of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and of the theatre company Duceppe.
Business or academic successes are satisfying, but I am most proud of my involvement in my community around music and culture. Working with young people especially has always been what’s most gratifying.
In 2015, Senator Gold was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal, which honours extraordinary service and leadership to the Jewish community over a long period of time. The medal was established in 1971 as a prestigious award granted annually by Federation CJA to one person in Montreal.
Music has always played a central role in Senator Gold’s life. He has been a member of one band or another since the age of 13. He is currently lead guitarist and vocalist with Hard Knocks, a roots-music band that still performs in Montreal clubs.
His wife Nancy attests to his long-standing musical passion. “As far as I was concerned, when Marc and I first started dating, I was going out with a musician who was taking a couple of law courses,” she said.
Marc and Nancy have two children and two granddaughters. Nancy still gets to many Hard Knocks gigs.
When Senator Peter Harder stepped down as the first Government Representative in the Senate at the end of 2019, Senator Gold was approached to fill the position. He agreed to take the job to continue to build on the movement towards a more independent and less partisan Senate.
“The Senate was designed, as an appointed body, to take a long-term view of what is in the best interests of Canadians. In my view, the Senate can best fulfill its constitutional role by strengthening its independence and becoming less partisan in its deliberations,” he said.
“I am convinced that the Senate will rise to the occasion. That’s why I became a senator. Building an independent and less partisan Senate is also the policy objective of the current Government, and that is why I am honoured to represent the Government in the Senate.”