Senator Joan Fraser was appointed to the Senate on September 17, 1998 by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien. Senator Joan Fraser represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of De Lorimier.
Senator Fraser has been Chair and Vice-President of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee between November 2007 and June 2013. She also was Chair of the Senatorial Permanent Committee of Transports and Communications from 2003 to 2005. From 1999 to 2002, she was Chair of the Senate Liberal Caucus and the Special Senate Committee on C-20 (Clarity Legislation) in 2000. She has also been a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Official Languages, National Finance and the Senate Special Committee on Anti-terrorism.
She served as President of the Women’s Coordinating Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2004-2006), as well as an ex-officio member of the International Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2002-2006).
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from McGill University in 1965. In 1965, she joined the Montreal newspaper, The Gazette. In 1967, she moved to Financial Times of Canada, and in 1978, she returned to The Gazette as editorial page editor. In 1993, she was appointed Editor-in-Chief, a post she held until 1996. From 1997 to 1998, she was Director-General of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, a division of the Council for Canadian Unity.
She has won two National Newspaper Awards (1982 and 1991) and four National Newspaper Award Citations of Merit (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994) for editorial writing. She has also won other awards for journalism, communications and her work on women's issues.
Senator Fraser lives in Montreal. She is married to Michel Faure and has two children, Elisabeth and Isabelle.