A distinguished educator and lawyer with deep roots in the community, the Honourable George J. Furey. Q.C. is a native of Newfoundland and Labrador and currently serves as the 45th Speaker of the Senate of Canada. He was appointed to the Senate on August 11, 1999, and is the first Speaker from the province.
Speaker Furey attended Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1970 and a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1970; he also completed a Masters of Education Degree from Memorial in 1976. During his career as an educator, he was a teacher with the Roman Catholic School Board in St. John's, a Supervising Vice-Principal with the Port-au-Port Roman Catholic School Board and a Supervising Principal of the Placentia-St. Mary's Roman Catholic School Board.
After a successful career in education from 1969-1980, he attended Dalhousie Law School and completed a Bachelor of Law Degree in 1983.
Speaker Furey was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1984 and was subsequently named a partner at the St. John's law firm of O'Brien, Furey & Hurley. While in his second year of practicing law, he successfully challenged the Criminal Code language on sexual assault and proved that with the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, certain Criminal Code provisions were unconstitutional. In 1989, he was named Senior Partner at the firm O'Brien, Furey & Smith and in 1993 was appointed to the Provincial Police Complaints Commission. He was subsequently appointed as Queen's Counsel in 1996.
Speaker Furey is a widely respected community leader, giving his time to numerous voluntary groups, professional boards and provincial commissions, including: the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association; The Boy Scouts of Canada; St. Clare's Mercy Hospital Ethics Committee; The Newfoundland Liquor Corporation and the Gonzaga High School Council.
He has proudly served his fellow Canadians since his appointment to the Senate and has been especially committed to advancing the interests of Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans in the Parliament of Canada.
Speaker Furey and his wife, Karen, have four children: Andrew (Allison), Meghan (Ben), Rebecca (Mike) and David. They also have seven grandchildren.