Published on

Dr. Flordeliz Osler

Manitoba’s new Senator

Dr. Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on September 26 that the Governor General has appointed Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler and Ian Shugart as independent Senators to fill vacancies for Manitoba and Ontario.

“I am pleased to welcome Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler and Ian Shugart as Parliament’s newest independent Senators,” said Trudeau. “I am confident that their dedication, unique perspectives, and stellar careers will help them best serve Canadians from all walks of life.”

Dr. Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler fills the Manitoba seat vacated by former Justice Murray Sinclair, who retired from the Red Chamber in January 2021. Dr. Osler is an internationally renowned surgeon, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, and a dedicated advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Dr. Osler currently operates at two clinics, including one in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Section of St. Boniface Hospital where she served as Section Head from 2010 to 2019. In 2018, Dr. Osler became the first woman surgeon and the first racialized woman elected President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), where she led the development of the CMA’s first ever policy on equity and diversity. Dr. Osler has also been the President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada since 2021, the Chair of the Canadian Medical Forum since 2020, and Co-Chair of the Virtual Care Task Force since 2019.

Born in Winnipeg to immigrant parents from the Philippines and India. Dr. Osler serves as a role model, research supervisor, and mentor for Filipino and other racialized medical students in Manitoba and across Canada, including within the Filipino Association of Medical Students in Manitoba. She also volunteers annually to train other surgeons in Africa and has been a key voice in raising awareness of the health impacts of climate change in Canada.

Dr. Osler holds a medical degree from the University of Manitoba, where she also completed her residency training, and a Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care from the University of British Columbia. She also completed a Rhinology fellowship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Osler is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada May Cohen Equity, Diversity and Gender Award. She has been named as a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner and to the Medical Post’s 2021 Power List. Dr. Osler was also inducted into the Government of Canada’s Women of Impact in Canada online gallery in 2022.

From her twitter account @degigiosler, Dr. Osler said:

September 26, 2022

“I am honoured and humbled to be selected by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Governor General to serve in the Senate of Canada. The Prime Minister was clear that he expects me to make a significant contribution to the work of the Senate, and to help tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country. He also underlined the fact that I will be able to contribute to the work of the Senate in an independent and non-partisan fashion, as well as ensure integrity and collaboration in service to Parliament and to all Canadians. Working in health policy in recent years has given me a glimpse of how to affect change at a time when we must all roll up our sleeves. My contributions to the Senate will provide a health perspective, with all its determinants, as well as a voice for women and other historically underrepresented groups. I look forward to serving Manitoba and Canada in this capacity.”

The second appointee, Mr. Ian Shugart, devoted his life to public service and held increasingly senior leadership positions within the federal public service, most recently as the 24th Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. He served as the principal link between the Prime Minister and the public service of Canada, delivering critical and timely support to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout his career, Mr. Shugart also shaped the modernization of public health, provided leadership on international climate change negotiations, and managed sensitive national security issues and key international relationships.

Dr. Osler and Mr. Shugart were recommended by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, and chosen using a merit-based process open to all Canadians. This process ensures Senators are independent, reflect Canada’s diversity, and are able to tackle the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the country.