Senator Leo Housakos, former Speaker of the Senate of Canada, is currently the Chair of the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, Chair of the Sub-Committee on Communications and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
An avid student of the Canadian political system, Montreal-born Senator Housakos has been actively involved in Canada’s political and business sectors for over twenty-five years. Mr. Housakos was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on December 22, 2008. On December 4, 2014, he was elected Speaker pro tempore before being named Speaker of the Senate by Prime Minister Harper on May 4, 2015 with unanimous support from both the Government and Opposition Leaders in the Senate.
During his time as Speaker, Senator Housakos met with several foreign Heads of State, diplomats and dignitaries both here at home and abroad. Speaker Housakos had the honour of speaking at the United Nations in New York City as well as at the World Speakers’ Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. As Speaker, Senator Housakos also oversaw the Senate’s response to the Auditor General’s report on expenses and continues to be at the helm of implementing its recommendations in his role as Chair of the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. As Chair, Senator Housakos is at the forefront of the Senate’s modernization efforts to be the transparent, efficient and accountable institution Canadians expect and deserve.
The Senator’s passion for public policy and service was evident very early in his life as he became involved with the youth wing of the Progressive Conservative Party at the age of sixteen. This commitment to public policy continued to develop after he graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1992 and worked as a ministerial staffer in the Ministry of Multiculturalism with the Honourable Gerry Weiner. Soon after, he became involved with the Hellenic Congress of Quebec and served two terms as its Vice-President, National Issues between 1998 and 2000, where he continued to expand upon his already impressive record of community activism. Senator Housakos also co-founded the Hellenic Board of Trade in 1993, an organization dedicated to the development of business opportunities and networking in the Greater Montreal Area and his work with this organization allowed him to focus upon municipal issues as he eventually became an advisor to the Mayor of Montreal between 2001-2002.
Senator Housakos’ zeal for the Canadian political system led to his candidacy, in 2000, with the Canadian Alliance in the riding of Laval Ouest, where he has lived for over twenty years. His political experience also includes the presidency of the fundraising commission of the Action Démocratique du Québec, demonstrating a well-balanced resume at all levels of the Canadian politics.
His skills in the realms of business, politics and community activism led to his appointment, in 2007, to the Board of Directors of Via Rail where he served the interests of Canadians until 2008.
His varied experience in the business world includes the presidency of Terreau Inc., a company specializing in composting, the presidency of Quadvision International, a company which focuses upon communications and strategic planning and the vice-presidency, Sales at Constant Laboratories, a company specializing in the development and sales of industrial chemical products.
Senator Housakos is most proud of his family. Married to Demi Papapanagiotou for more than 21 years they have two children, Peter and Tasso.