Janis Johnson

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The Honourable
Janis G. Johnson
Senator for Manitoba
In office
September 27, 1990 – September 27, 2016
Appointed by Brian Mulroney
Personal details
Born (1946-04-27) April 27, 1946 (age 71)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Frank Moores (1973–2005; his death)
Children 1
Residence Gimli, Manitoba (Canada)
Alma mater University of Manitoba
Occupation Businesswoman, Public Affairs Consultant
Profession Senator
Committees Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Website www.janisjohnson.ca

Janis Gudrun Johnson, (born April 27, 1946) is a retired Canadian Senator who represented Manitoba.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Winnipeg, Johnson's father, George Johnson, was the Minister of Health and Public Welfare in the Manitoba Legislature and later the province's Lieutenant Governor.[1] Her mother, Doris Marjorie Blöndal, was of Icelandic ancestry.[2]

Johnson attended Kelvin High School,[3] and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with honours standing in 1968 from the University of Manitoba.[4]


Johnson established a public policy and communications firm, Janis Johnson & Associates, in Winnipeg.[4]

Johnson was the first woman to serve as the national director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in September 1983.[4] She returned to Manitoba in 1985 and established JJ & Associates, a government relations and communications firm. In 1989 she joined Peat Marwick Public Affairs. She also served on the Canadian National Railways board of directors from 1985-1990.

Johnson worked as a freelance consultant in public affairs and also as a lecturer in the Faculty of Continuing Education at the University of Manitoba. She set up the first Progressive Conservative Women's Caucus of Winnipeg and co-directed the Mulroney Leadership Campaign in 1983. She also was active in the volunteer sector, serving on the inaugural board of Manitoba Special Olympics, the University of Winnipeg board of directors, the board of directors of Prairie Theatre Exchange and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.[citation needed]

Senate career[edit]

Johnson was appointed to represent the province of Manitoba in the Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1990. She was a senior member of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources and Senate Chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group.[5]

Johnson's first speech in the Senate was about the Mulroney government's anti-abortion bill, which she voted against.[5][6]

In 2014, Johnson became the Honorary Chair of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature Initiative.[citation needed]

In 2015, Johnson was named among 30 senators in an audit of Senate expenses. She criticized the report, but later repaid the $22,706 it said she owed in questionable travel expenses, maintaining that they were legitimate and the report was incorrect.[4][7][8]

Johnson retired from the Senate on September 27, 2016, exactly twenty six years after she was appointed. She was the longest-serving Conservative member of the Senate and Manitoba's longest serving senator.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson was the second wife of Frank Moores, the second premier of Newfoundland and Labrador after Confederation, with whom she had one son.[9]

In 2000 Johnson founded and voluntarily chairs the board of directors for the Gimli Film Festival.[4]


Johnson is the recipient of many honours, including the Queen's Jubilee Medals, the Canada 125 Medal, the Special Olympics Award for Volunteerism, the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba.[citation needed] In 2000, she was awarded the Order of the Falcon Award from the Government of Iceland for her efforts in promoting Canada-Iceland relations.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Faces of the Icelandic community". Winnipeg Free Press. November 24, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Johnson, The Honourable Dr. George & Doris". 
  3. ^ "Janis Johnson". Kelvin High School. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Conservative Senator Janis Johnson retires after 26 years". CBC News. September 22, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Rabson, Mia (September 22, 2016). "Manitoba's most veteran senator to depart". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ McBride, Dorothy E.; Stetson, Dorothy M. (2001). Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State: A Comparative Study of State Feminism. Oxford University Press. p. 84. 
  7. ^ Rabson, Mia (June 18, 2015). "Manitoba Senator Janis Johnson repays $20K in flagged expenses; insists they were legitimate". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Manitoba Senator Janis Johnson repays travel expenses". Winnipeg Sun. June 19, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Former Newfoundland premier Frank Moores dies". CBC News. July 10, 2005. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 

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