Ontario ag community pleased with Rob Black’s Senate appointment

Ontario ag community pleased with Rob Black’s Senate appointment
Feb 16, 2018

Black will be the only Senator with clear ties to agriculture

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

One of Canada’s new Senators has spent a considerable amount of time working with farmers and rural communities.

Prime Minister Trudeau nominated Rob Black, the current CEO of the Rural Ontario Institute and councillor on Wellington County Council, to represent Ontario in the Senate.

Trudeau gives his nominations to Julie Payette, Canada’s Governor General, who officially appoints the nominees to the Senate.

Black’s nomination brings a rural and agricultural voice to the Senate, which will add another perspective to legislative discussions, said Neil Currie, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

“There used to be quite a few Senators with ties to agriculture but maybe that’s not the case anymore,” he told Farms.com. “Rob is well-versed in (agricultural) issues and is a deep thinker, so he’ll be a good addition to the Senate.”

Ken Forth, a broccoli producer from Lynden, Ont., and chair of the Labour Section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, echoes Currie’s sentiments.

“Finally, the Senate will have some agricultural flavour,” Forth said. “I’ve appeared in front of Senate committees before and you can tell from their questions that agriculture is not their strong suit. Rob is a common-sense kind of guy and he’s going to be a great addition to the Senate.”

Jeff Leal, Ontario's agriculture minister, wished Black well in his new role as a Senator.

“I am very pleased to hear Robert Black is among the most recent appointees to represent Ontario in the Senate," he said in an emailed statement to Farms.com today. "He has long been a champion of agricultural and rural issues and his extensive knowledge will be a real benefit for senate discussions.

The Senate, as the second chamber of our parliamentary democracy, should reflect all aspects of Canadian life and Rob will be a very articulate spokesperson on both rural and agricultural affairs. I wish him all the best in this next chapter of his career.”


Black’s spent over 40 years with 4-H Ontario and acted as the organization’s first executive director. He also served as the general manager of Ontario Soybean Growers and held positions within Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Prime Minister Trudeau also nominated Martha Deacon, a director on the Canadian Olympic Committee and with Commonwealth Games Canada, for a Senate position.

Top photo: Martha Deacon and Rob Black have been nominated for Senate positions.

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