National News

New Brunswick Sen. Judith Keating, a 'tireless advocate,' has died at 58

By The Canadian Press

Published 11:15 PDT, Fri July 16, 2021

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Fri July 16, 2021

OTTAWA — New Brunswick Sen. Judith Keating has died.

She was 64 years old.

Keating was appointed to the Senate in January 2020 and sat with the Independent Senators Group.

She was a lawyer and constitutional expert who spent several decades as a senior civil servant in New Brunswick, including as a legal adviser to the premier.

She was also the first woman to be the deputy minister of justice and attorney general in that province.

In a statement, Senate Speaker George Furey called her a "tireless advocate." 

"Of her many contributions, Senator Keating will be remembered as a tireless advocate for the equal status of the English and French languages in New Brunswick, the equal and just treatment of women in the legal profession, and the promotion of Indigenous issues in her role as provincial chair of the Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation in New Brunswick," he wrote.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences.

He said in a statement that she "will be remembered as a distinguished legal and constitutional expert and as a champion for women’s empowerment in the legal profession."

He also said she "was an active member of her local community, and made many important contributions over her decades of public service in the Government of New Brunswick. Most notably, she worked tirelessly to advance language equality and promote reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province."

Tributes flowed quickly on social media after news spread of Keating's death.

Alberta Sen. Paula Simons says she is "gutted by the news."

"Judith was so smart, so funny, so insightful, so hard-working," Simons said on Twitter, shortly after the news of Keating's death was made public.

"Everything you would want in a senator, in a colleague, in a friend. I’m so sorry her time in the Senate was as brief as it was. We needed more Judith Keating."

Keating's biography on the Senate website says she lived in Fredericton and had two children.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Judith Keating, who was named to the Senate last year, was 58 years old when she died.

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