Called to the Senate of Canada in September 1995, the Honourable Marie-P. (Charette) Poulin is a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and a past member of the of the Senate Committee on National Finance, of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages, of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence and of the Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. She chaired the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications and as Chair of the Communications Subcommittee, she led the review on Canada’s national and international position in communications and telecommunications. Senator Poulin was the first woman to chair the Senate Liberal Caucus, and the first senator to chair the Northern Ontario Liberal Caucus.
In December 2006, Senator Poulin was elected President of the Liberal Party of Canada. Prior to her appointment to the Senate, Senator Poulin was a deputy minister in the government of Canada and a broadcast executive. As founding Chairman and CEO of the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal, she established a new federal agency for self-employed workers. As Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet at the Privy Council Office, she was responsible for overseeing all government communications and consultations. As Vice-President of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she held various portfolios: Human Resources and Industrial Relations; Secretary General to the Board; Regional Radio and Television Broadcasting Operations. Prior to her national experience at the CBC, she was founding Director of the Corporation’s Northern Ontario French Services which included launching Sudbury’s radio station “CBON” and establishing over 30 retransmitter antennae in Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario. In the earlier part of her career, she worked as a program producer, researcher and university lecturer.
Senator Poulin’s professional achievements and participation on the boards of various organizations have earned her national and international recognition over the years, including the “Prix Marcel Blouin” for the best radio morning program in Canada in 1983, the “Médaille du Conseil de la vie française” in 1988, the “Ordre de la Pléiade” in 1995, an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Laurentian University in 1995, the insignia of “Officier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur de la France” in 2003 and the insignia of the Order of St. John in 2004. She has served on the Bell Globemedia board as well as on several hospital boards, university and college boards, Chambers of commerce, arts and culture boards and United Ways. She was a member of the Implementation Committee for Bill 8 in Ontario and a founding director of “La Cité collégiale” and the “Regroupement des gens d’affaires” (RGA). She was the first woman to chair the RGA. She currently sits on the board of the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society and the “CEO of the Year Award”. She is the past Canadian president of the “Fédération Canada-France”, and as Vice-Chair of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group, she is a member of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree at Laurentian University in 1966 (magna cum laude), a Master of Social Sciences from l’Université de Montréal in 1969 and a Bachelor of Laws from University of Ottawa in 2007.
Senator Poulin is married to international portrait artist Bernard A. Poulin. They have two adult daughters, Elaine and Valerie.