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New senators appointed

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OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has chosen five new senators, including one selected by voters in Alberta during last April's provincial election.

The new faces -- which fill two vacancies from Ontario and one each from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador -- expand the Conservative majority in the upper chamber, which still has one vacancy.

Doug Black, a senior Calgary lawyer and founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, who won the April election, takes the Alberta seat.

To fill the Ontario seats, Harper named Lynn Beyak, a small-business owner from the province's northwest, and Victor Oh of Mississauga, president of a property-development firm.

Beyak has been a community activist and is a former chairwoman of the Fort Frances-Rainy River board of education and a former member of the board of the province's Trillium Foundation.

Oh is the funding chairman of the Canada-China Business Communication Council and a member of the board of governors of Sheridan College.

Denise Batters, a Regina lawyer and a senior figure in the province's Crown Investments Corp., will sit for Saskatchewan. She is the widow of Dave Batters, a former Conservative MP from Saskatchewan who killed himself in 2009 at the age of 39.

David Wells, until recently the deputy chief executive of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, takes the final seat.

He is a businessman who has also held senior positions in the federal Fisheries Department. The Conservatives now hold 65 of the 105 available Senate seats. The rest include 36 Liberals, one Progressive Conservative, two independents and one vacancy.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 A19

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