Marilyn Trenholme Counsell

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The Honourable
Marilyn Trenholme Counsell
28th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
In office
April 18, 1997 – August 26, 2003
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Roméo LeBlanc
Adrienne Clarkson
Premier Frank McKenna
Ray Frenette
Camille Thériault
Bernard Lord
Preceded by Margaret McCain
Succeeded by Herménégilde Chiasson
Senator for New Brunswick
In office
September 9, 2003 – October 22, 2008
Nominated by Jean Chrétien
Personal details
Born (1933-10-22) October 22, 1933 (age 81)
Baie Verte, New Brunswick
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Kenneth Walter Counsell (m. 1972)
Children Giles Baxter Counsell, Lorna Joy Counsell
Residence Sackville, New Brunswick

Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, ONB (born October 22, 1933) is a former Canadian Senator and Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 1997 to 2003.

Early years[edit]

Born Marilyn Trenholme in Baie Verte, New Brunswick, she is the daughter of the late Harry Frederick Trenholme and Mildred Baxter Trenholme. She married Kenneth Walter Counsell in 1972. They have two children Giles Baxter Counsell and Lorna Joy Counsell. Mr. Counsell died in 1981.

Trenholme Counsell has a BSc from Mount Allison University, MA in nutrition from Univerfsity of Toronto and a MD from the University of Toronto. She worked first as a nutritionist for the Governments of New Brunswick and Ontario, and following her MD as a family physician at the Toronto General Hospital, and in Sackville and Port Elgin, New Brunswick. She was elected member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick for Tantramar in the 1987 General Election, reelected in 1991 and 1995. During this time, from 1994 to 1997, she also served in the cabinet as Minister of State for the Family and Minister of State for Family and Community Services.

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

She served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 1997 to 2003. During her tenure, she reopened Old Government House, as "The People's House", and focused on early childhood literacy.


She was appointed to the Senate in 2003 by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and sat as a member of the Liberal caucus. As a Senator, she was a tireless advocate for literacy, health and early childhood development. She reached the mandatory retirement age on October 22, 2008. As the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of St. John (DStJ). She was named to the Order of New Brunswick (ONB) in 2008 In June 2012, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC). She holds honorary degrees from l'universite de Moncton, Mount Allison and University of New Brunswick and has been honoured with the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action (CMA) and the Champion of Public Education Award (TLP). In 1994 on behalf of the Province of New Brunswick she received a UN Year of the Family award. Since 2008, she has lectured on Political Leadership in Canada at Mount Allison.


Arms of Marilyn Trenholme Counsell
Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Arms.svg
The arms of Marilyn Trenholme Counsell consist of:[1]
Upon a helmet mantled Azure doubled Or within a wreath of these colours issuant from a coronet rim Or the upper edge set with roses Argent alternating with thistle flowers Or a demi white-tailed deer proper gorged with a coronet érablé charged on the shoulder with a mullet and bearing between its legs a bolt of lightning all Or.
Azure issuant in base a pile barry wavy Vert and Argent fimbriated and charged with a rod of Aescalapius Or in chief two open books Argent bound Or.
Dexter a yellow labrador Or gorged with a collar of birch bark proper fimbriated Vert sinister a mare Or unguled and maned Azure gorged with a like collar.
A grassy mound Vert set with roses Or leaved Vert and marsh violets Purpure leaved Vert above barry wavy of three Argent Azure and Argent.
Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee


  1. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority (Volume III), Ottawa, 1998