Murray, Lowell, 1936- : In September 2011 Mr. Murray retired from the Senate of Canada as its dean, having served in the Upper House as a Progressive Conservative for 32 years following his 1979 appointment by the Right Hon. Joe Clark, as Senator from Pakenham, Ontario (he took this Senatorial designation after he moved to that village). He became a Privy Councillor in 1986, and was for more than seven years a minister in the governments of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and of his successor, the Right Hon. Kim Campbell. He entered Cabinet in 1986, served as Leader of the Government in the Senate (1986-93), Minister of Federal-Provincial Relations (1986-91), Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (1987-88) and Acting Minister of Communications (1989). A key figure in most of the major government initiatives of the period, Senator Murray was responsible for the constitutional negotiations related to the Meech Lake Accord (1987), a leading participant in the federal-provincial-aboriginal constitutional process of 1986-87, and in the cabinet and caucus process that drafted the 1988 amendments to Canada's Official Languages Act. Between 1986 and 1993 he also chaired five Cabinet committees (among them the key Committee on Federal-Provincial relations, which he headed for 5 years, 1986-199) and was a member, from time to time, of 12 other Cabinet Committees. He sat on the Priorities and Planning Committee the "inner cabinet", in his words), as well as on the Operations Committee (the "inner-inner" cabinet). He chaired the very important Committee of Human Resources, Social Policy and Legal Affairs, and on ad hoc cabinet committees on such matters as labour disputes in federal jurisdiction and in the federal public sector.
As a Senator he served from time to time as Chairman of three committees - Banking, National Finance and Social Affairs, and as co-chairman (1980-84) of the Joint Senate-Commons committee on Official Languages. He also, between 1979 and 2010, sat on 23 Standing Committees of Senate for a Session or so. He has been a strong advocate for better parliamentary control of government spending, urging both Senate and House to reclaim their traditional prerogatives. In recent years he was generally acknowledged as the pre-eminent Senate spokesman on federal-provincial fiscal relations.
His appointment to the Senate in 1979 was the culmination of almost 20 years in Canadian politics and government. During the 1960s and 1970s Mr. Murray served as political assistant to ministers in the Diefenbaker government (Justice Minister E.D. Fulton, Sen. Wallace McCutcheon); as assistant to Progressive Conservative leader Robert L. Stanfield; as Deputy Minister to New Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield; and as National Campaign Chairman of the P.C. Party.
Sen. Murray has been a Trustee of the Institute for Research in Public Policy, a member of the Trilateral Commission and a member of the Council of the Federation's expert panel on Fiscal Imbalance (2004-06). Born in New Waterford, NS, in 1936, he is a graduate of St. FrancisXavier University (BA) and of Queen's University (Master of Public Administration). He has recived honourary degrees from three Canadian universities -- St. Francis Xavier (LLD, 2005), Cape Breton University (LiitD, 2012) and Queen's (LLD, 2012).