The Honourable Judith Seidman was appointed to the Senate on August 27, 2009. Prior to this appointment, she spent most of her career as a health research professional in the McGill University hospitals in Montreal, Quebec. As a research fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, and as an Associate Professor of Social Work at the McGill School of Social Work, Judith’s research and teaching focused on program and services evaluation, and the psychosocial determinants of health and illness. Judith was a National Health Research Doctoral Fellow (NHRDP) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics while she studied the role that social supports play in chronic disease outcomes. She was also actively engaged in aging-related research as a member of a community health team (CLSC) and as the Project Coordinator for the Canadian Study of Health and Aging.
Born in Montreal, Judith has always been committed to public service. Her community involvement has focused on the education and health sectors, and she has served on many committees and boards including the Allan Memorial Institute Advancement Fund, McGill Society of Montreal, Education Task Force of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Alumni Committee of the McGill School of Social Work, Working Group on Continuing Studies in Social Work, and the Evaluation Committee for Community Health Research Program of Montreal.
A member of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Senator Seidman has worked on studies of considerable import to the health and social services fields, including “Time for Transformative Change: A Review of the 2004 Health Accord”.
A member of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Seidman participated in a 3-year study, which culminated in the release of the report, “Now or Never: Canada Must Act Urgently to Seize its Place in the New Energy World Order”.
In November 2013, Senator Seidman became a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. Among the studies the committee undertook, one timely and important study sought to examine and report on how the mandates and practises of the UNHCR and UNICEF have evolved to meet the needs of displaced children in modern conflict situations, with particular attention to the current crisis in Syria. In January 2014, Senator Seidman travelled to the Jordanian border as a delegate on the Prime Minister’s first trip to the Middle East. During this visit, Senator Seidman spoke with Syrian refugees as they crossed into Jordan after fleeing the conflict on foot. In this way, Senator Seidman was able to see the growing refugee crisis first-hand, a tragedy that continues to be increasingly hard on women and children in particular throughout many different regions of the world.
While serving as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, Senator Seidman traveled through her home province of Quebec on a fact-finding study that would inform the report, “The Vitality of Quebec’s English-Speaking Communities: From Myth to Reality”.
In June 2012, Senator Seidman was appointed to serve as a member of the Jury for the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women and Minister of Public Works and Government Services.