Janis G. Johnson
|Senator for Manitoba|
September 27, 1990
|Appointed by||Brian Mulroney|
April 27, 1946 |
|Residence||Gimli, Manitoba (Canada)|
|Alma mater||University of Manitoba|
|Occupation||Businesswoman, Public Affairs Consultant|
|Committees||Foreign Affairs and International Trade|
Johnson was appointed to represent the province of Manitoba in the Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1990. She is currently 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.
Over the past 25 years, she has sat as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; Human Rights; Transportation and Communications; Aboriginal Peoples; Social Affairs, Science and Technology; Fisheries & Oceans; and Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
Johnson had a critical role in defeating Bill C-43 in January 1991, almost 25 years ago. Bill C-43 was the last attempt of the government of Canada to introduce legislation to restrict abortion rights to women in Canada. The bill was narrowly defeated in the Senate by a tied vote. Since Bill C-43′s defeat, no government has since introduced legislation to restrict abortion rights in Canada.
In 2014, Johnson became the Honorary Chair of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature Initiative. Nature and the outdoors, especially Lake Winnipeg, have played a huge role in her life. She has worked on issues affecting the health of the lake and it is the place where she feels closest to nature.
Senator Johnson sponsored the passage of Elizabeth May’s Private Member’s Bill, C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, on December 12, 2014. It will establish a framework for collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers, representatives of the medical community, and patients’ groups to promote greater awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, to address the challenges of timely diagnosis and treatment, and to push for further research.] C-442 is the first piece of Green Party legislation passed in Canadian history.
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. Her involvement in politics carried on and 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.
Johnson was the first woman to serve as the National Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in September 1983. Johnson 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.
She was the second wife of Frank Moores, the second premier of Newfoundland and Labrador after Confederation. Her father, George Johnson, was the Minister of Health and Public Welfare in the Manitoba Legislature and oversaw a policy of major hospital expansions in the province and other significant reforms between 1959 and 1963. On December 11, 1986, in "recognition of his services to the people of Manitoba", he was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé.
In 2000 Johnson founded and voluntarily chairs the board of directors for the Gimli Film Festival, which is now the largest in the province and screens Canadian film and some international work. The large screen on the beach attracts thousands to her Senate region of Gimli, Manitoba every year to watch films under the stars.
Senator 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, and the Order of the Falcon Award from the Government of Iceland in August 2000 for her efforts in promoting Canada-Iceland relations.