Mobina Jaffer

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Mobina Jaffer

Canadian Senator
from British Columbia
Assumed office
June 13, 2001
Nominated byJean Chrétien
Appointed byAdrienne Clarkson
Personal details
Born (1949-08-20) August 20, 1949 (age 72)
Kampala, Uganda
Political partyIndependent Senators Group
Other political
Liberal (until 2014)
Senate Liberal Caucus
Non-affiliated 2018–2019

Mobina S. B. Jaffer, QC (born August 20, 1949) is a Canadian Senator representing British Columbia. She is the first South Asian woman appointed to the Upper House.

Early life and career[edit]

Born to an Pakistani family living in Africa, Jaffer was educated in England and Canada. She earned a law degree from the University of London in 1972 and attended the Executive Development program at Simon Fraser University. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Jaffer is a past member of the Girl Guides of Canada who held many volunteer roles including as a Brownie, Guide, and Pathfinder Leader, and as an elected Commissioner.[1]

Jaffer has practised law in British Columbia since 1978 at the firm Dohm, Jaffer and Jeraj. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1998. Since 1997, Jaffer has been vice-chair of the Canadian membership committee for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and, since 1993, a member of the board of governors of the Trial Lawyers of British Columbia. She has also been active with the Immigrant and Refugee Board.

In 2014, Jaffer was one of the recipients of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.[2]

Canadian politics[edit]

In 2002, she was appointed the Special Envoy to the Peace Process in Sudan by the Government of Canada. The same year, she was Chair of the Canadian Committee on Women Peace & Security.

Jaffer has served as a Vice-President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1994 to 1998 and as President of the National Women's Liberal Commission from 1998 to 2003. She also served on the board of the Liberal International in 1996. Jaffer ran unsuccessfully in the 1993 general election as the Liberal candidate in North Vancouver, and again in the 1997 election as the party's candidate in Burnaby--Douglas.

Senate tenure[edit]

She was appointed to the Canadian Senate on June 13, 2001, on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She sat as a Liberal.

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Jaffer, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents.[3] The Senators refer to themselves as the Senate Liberal Caucus even though they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.[4]

On December 20, 2018, Jaffer left the Senate Liberal Caucus to sit as a non-affiliated senator.[5] On June 12, 2019, Jaffer joined the Independent Senators Group.[6]

She is currently a sitting member on the Standing Senate Committees on National Security and Defence, Finance, Official Languages and Internal Affairs, and the Senate Subcommittees on Veterans Affairs and Diversity.


The Vancouver Sun reported on January 22, 2008 that the B.C. Law Society was investigating allegations of overbilling by Jaffer and her son for allegedly charging a Catholic missionary order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, fees of $6.7 million for work they did between 2000 and 2004 defending the Oblates against abuse claims made by former residents of the Canadian Indian residential school system. Allegations included evidence that Ms. Jaffer's son had billed 32.4 hours of work in a single day.[7] In 2009, the Law Society of British Columbia's Discipline Subcommittee ordered Jaffer and her son to appear before separate conduct review subcommittee panels. At its regular meeting in March 2010, the Discipline Subcommittee agreed with the recommendations of those panels that no further action should be taken.[8]

Electoral history[edit]

1993 Canadian federal election: North Vancouver
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Reform Ted White 20,407 40.01 +31.09
Liberal Mobina Jaffer 15,951 31.27 +4.06
Progressive Conservative Will McMartin 7,900 15.49 -22.16
New Democratic Graeme Bowbrick 3,254 6.38 -17.48
National Dallas Collis 2,234 4.38
Green Arne B. Hansen 534 1.05 +0.11
Natural Law Bradford Cooke 447 0.88
Independent Clarke L. Ashley 144 0.28
Libertarian Anthony Jasich 116 0.23
Commonwealth of Canada Paul Fraleigh 22 0.04
Total valid votes 51,009 100.0  
Reform gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +13.52


  1. ^ "Second Reading - Bill S-1002 - An act respecting Girl Guides of Canada". The Honourable Mobina S.B. Jaffer, Q.C. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  2. ^ "Canadas Top 25 Immigrants 2014". Canadian Immigrant. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ "Trudeau's expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Evelyn, Charelle (January 16, 2019). "Why Mobina Jaffer left the Senate Liberals to sit solo". The Hill Times. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Non-affiliated senator joins independents". June 12, 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Law society opens investigation into Liberal senator's accounts". July 12, 2021. Retrieved Jan 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "Law Society of BC concludes case". Law Society of British Columbia. 27 April 2010. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.

External links[edit]