Dan Hays

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Daniel Hays

Senator from Alberta
In office
June 29, 1984 – June 30, 2007
Appointed byPierre Trudeau
Speaker of the Senate
In office
January 26, 2001 – February 7, 2006
Nominated byJean Chrétien
Preceded byGildas Molgat
Succeeded byNoël Kinsella
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
In office
February 1, 2006 – January 17, 2007
Preceded byNoël Kinsella
Succeeded byCéline Hervieux-Payette
Personal details
Born (1939-04-24) April 24, 1939 (age 80)
Calgary, Alberta
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Kathy Hays (2)
Linda Jolly (1)
ChildrenCarol Hays
Janet Hays
Sarah Hays
ParentsHarry Hays (Father)
Muriel Hays (Bigland) (Mother)
ProfessionLawyer, Rancher

Daniel Phillip Hays, PC, CD (April 24, 1939) is a Canadian politician born in Calgary, Alberta. He was Speaker of the Senate of Canada from 2001 to 2006, when he became Leader of the Government (Liberal) in the Senate. Hays was the Leader of the Opposition in the 39th Canadian Parliament (2006-2007), and chair of numerous Senate committees.

He is the only child of Muriel and Harry Hays, who served as Minister of Agriculture in the government of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. Dan Hays married Kathy in 2001. He has three daughters from his previous marriage: Carol, Janet and Sarah. He has two granddaughters, Theodora and Alexandra.

Hays attended Western Canada High School, and Strathcona-Tweedsmuir in Calgary, as well as, Appleby College in Oakville. He obtained his B.A. degree in history from the University of Alberta and his LL.B. degree from the University of Toronto. Following his articles, in 1966, with the Calgary-based firm Macleod Dixon, he was called to the Alberta Bar, and became known as a prominent lawyer. Hays was active in various practice areas, most notably corporate, commercial, and international operations. As well, he had a meaningful role in the firm's strategic planning and government relations. He served as Chairman of Macleod Dixon, LLP after his retirement from the Senate. He has been a member of Macleod Dixon, and successor firm Norton Rose Fulbright, for over 50 years.

Dan Hays has had a lifelong association with farming and ranching. He has been involved with the cattle industry since 1957 as a breeder, exhibitor and marketer of livestock. His father and, latterly, Dan operated a large mixed farm and ranch in the Foothills of Southern Alberta. They developed the first recognized Canadian developed pure breed of cattle, the Hays Converter. In 2001, he sold the bulk of his land; however, continued to maintain a herd of 200 Hays Converter cows, most of which have been donated to the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agriculture, Life, & Environmental Studies (ALES) in 2017.

Hays was appointed to the Senate of Canada (gaining the style "the Honourable" for life) on the advice of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on April 29, 1984, representing Alberta. He decided upon Calgary as his self-designated senate division. Hays served as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry from 1986 to 1988 and again from 1994 to 1995. He was also the chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources from 1989 to 1993. He chaired the Committee on Senate Reform, 2006 to 2007. On October 12, 1999, he was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Chrétien appointed him as Speaker in January 2001. He is the only Albertan to have held this office. As Speaker, Hays utilized his role to promote parliamentary diplomacy. He visited over 40 countries to meet with his counterparts and other government leaders. As well, he hosted numerous visits from foreign and domestic government officials at the Calgary Stampede and at the annual Hays Breakfast, to promote the region he represented in the Senate.

Hays served as president of the Liberal Party of Canada between 1994 and 1999. He has chaired the party's National Executive Committee and Management Committee, as well as serving as Chair of the Liberal party's Revenue Committee. From 1996 to 1998, he served as Election Readiness Co-Chair and National Platform Co-Chair for the Liberal party. Hays is also the past Chair of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group and the Canadian section of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

On February 1, 2006, he was named as the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, replacing Noël Kinsella, a position he held until being succeeded by Céline Hervieux-Payette on January 18, 2007. On January 22, 2007, he was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Hays officially vacated his Senate seat on June 30, 2007.

Among his other accomplishments, Hays served as an Honorary Lieutenant-colonel of The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) since 2000 with two extensions in 2007 and 2010 as Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. In 2005, he was admitted to the pantheon of l'Order of La Pléiade by the Canadian branch of l’Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF). In the past, he served for five years on the board of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He is also the former director the Calgary District Foundation, of Enviros, and of the Calgary YMCA. Hays is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Canadian Hays Converter Association. He also sits on the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. In 2018, he was recognized for his exemplary contributions to Alberta and Canada by his alma mater, the University of Alberta, with an honourary degree of Doctor of Laws.


On April 29, 2000, Hays received Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan.[1] He was conferred with this honour for promoting Canada/Japan bilateral relations.

In 2007, Hays was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as member of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada.

In 2011, Hays became an Officier de la Légion d'honneur for his work in furthering Canada's involvement in the Organisation Internationale de Francophonie.

In 2014, Hays was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the University of Alberta.

In 2017, Hays received the Canadian Senate 150th anniversary of Confederation medal from Sen. Art Eggleton.

On November 21, 2018, Hays received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta.

Participation in Organizations[edit]

Dan Hays is a member in the Law Society of Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club. He is a member on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute. He is an Honorary Member of the Calgary Consular Corp and he is a member of the Prince Takamado Japan and Canada Memorial Fund.

Hays is past Chairman of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group, as well as, the Canadian Section of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum. He is a past Honorary Patron at the Carewest Annual Fun(d) Fest. Hays is also past Director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Commerce Capital Trust Company, and other corporate boards.


External links[edit]

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Harry Hays
Ernest Manning
Senator Alberta
Succeeded by
Bert Brown
Preceded by
Gildas Molgat
Speaker of the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Noël Kinsella
Preceded by
Noël Kinsella
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Céline Hervieux-Payette
Party political offices
Preceded by
Don Johnston
President of the Liberal Party of Canada
Succeeded by
Stephen LeDrew