|Leader of the Independent Senate Liberals|
January 29, 2014
|Leader of the Opposition in the Senate|
November 3, 2008 – November 4, 2015
|Preceded by||Céline Hervieux-Payette|
|Succeeded by||Claude Carignan|
|Senator for Nova Scotia|
March 24, 2005
|Appointed by||Paul Martin|
January 22, 1942 |
Halifax, Nova Scotia
|Children||Robert, David, Peter and Suzanne|
|Alma mater||Dalhousie University
London School of Economics
|Committees||Standing Committee of Selection, Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry|
|Portfolio||Leader of the Opposition in the Senate|
James S. "Jim" Cowan, QC (born January 22, 1942) is a Canadian lawyer and senator from Nova Scotia and is leader of the Independent Liberal caucus. A lawyer, Cowan has been a partner at the legal firm of Stewart McKelvey since 1967.
Nova Scotia politics
In 2012, it was reported that Cowan and other Senate leaders allowed Senator Joyce Fairbairn to continue voting on legislative matters for four months after she was declared legally incompetent due to dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Leader of the Independent Senate Liberal Caucus
On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Cowan, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents. According to Cowan, the Senators will still refer to themselves as Liberals even if they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus. Liberal senators reaffirmed Cowan as their leader in 2014 through internal elections.
When the Liberal Party formed government following the 2015 federal election, new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not appoint Senator Cowan as Government Senate Leader. The position was replaced with the Representatie of the Government in the Senate and assigned to independent Senator Peter Harder leaving Cowan as leader of the Independent Liberal caucus.
Cowan is due to retire from the Senate upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 on January 22, 2017.
- "Halifax lawyer seeking N.S. Liberal leadership". The Globe and Mail, November 2, 1985.
- "New N.S. Liberal leader expects to get ammunition from Ottawa". The Globe and Mail, February 24, 1986.
- “Alberta senator allowed to vote four months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” Global News, August 27, 2012.
- "Trudeau’s expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Senators reaffirm Sen. Cowan as leader of Liberal Senate caucus, to hold formal Senate elections in future, Hill Times; “Senate Liberals to elect new leader and new caucus executive in next session of Parliament,” Hill Times, June 29, 2015.
- "Justin Trudeau names seven new senators". The Toronto Star, March 18, 2016.
- Cowan, Mrs. Gordon (1966–1967), Notes on the Rettie family of Truro, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University Archives, File MS-2-173, SF Box 14, Folder 7, retrieved September 14, 2013
|Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Canada
2008 - 2015