Cat’s Track #48 – The Honourable Leo Housakos, Senator
Welcome to Cat’s Track Episode 48, with guest The Honourable Leo Housakos, Senator.
Senator Leo Housakos was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008 and was named Speaker of the Senate by Prime Minister Harper on May 4, 2015 with unanimous support from both the Government and Opposition Leaders in the Senate.
As Speaker, Senator Housakos met with several foreign heads of state, diplomats and dignitaries at home and abroad and had the pleasure of speaking at the United Nations in New York City during an Inter-Parliamentary Union Speaker’s Conference.
Foreign affairs and interparliamentary diplomacy continue to be areas of great interest and passion for Senator Housakos. He is currently a member of numerous parliamentary friendship groups, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the newly formed IPAC (Inter-parliamentary Alliance on China and currently serves as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Senator Housakos is a strong advocate of human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law, both at home and internationally. He has been unapologetically vocal in speaking out against the Iranian Republican Guard Corp and the tyrannical regime in Iran, as well as the Communist Party of China, in particular as it pertains to their increased aggression against Hong Kong democracy fighters, Uighur Muslims and the government and people of Taiwan.
Senator Housakos currently has several motions before the Senate in relation to the worrisome activities of the communist regime in China, including, along with Senator Ngo, a call for the government of Canada to impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials.
Here at home, Senator Housakos was at the forefront of the Senate’s modernization in recent years as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and also as Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.
An avid adherent to the Westminster system, Senator Housakos frequently speaks about the role and importance of parliament in a democracy such as ours and remains actively involved in debate on various legislation that passes through the Senate. One of his proudest moments was the passing of a bill, of which he was the sponsor, calling for a national framework for post-traumatic stress disorder amongst first responders in Canada.
Through his work both in the Senate and out, Senator Housakos has been a tireless advocate for families of autism and continues to advocate for a national autism strategy in addition to various other philanthropic efforts.