Halifax middleweight Moncef (Buddy) Askri returns to ring after ...
Acadia profs, South Shore brewer collaborate to cultivate Nova Scotia ...
Charges dropped against man who resisted armed home invaders in ...
Doctor warns opioid hospitalization numbers don’t tell the whole story
Coalition counters call for oil exploration bids near Sable Island
Guysborough’s artifacts of the total abstinence movement (no, not that ...
Rifle, drugs among items seized from scene of Halifax dispensary ...
Ontario man's Halifax human trafficking trial set for January 2020
VIDEO: Rodger Cuzner delivers annual poetic holiday roast to fellow MPs
Psychiatrist Stanley Kutcher is Nova Scotia’s newest voice in the Red Chamber.
Kutcher’s Senate appointment was announced Wednesday by the Prime Minister’s Office along with three other Senate appointments from Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Kutcher is a professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University as well as the Sun Life Financial chair in adolescent mental health, and has a long list of achievements in the field of mental health.
In the official biography sent out by the PMO, Kutcher is described as “a renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a leader in mental health research, advocacy, training, and policy development, who has been involved in mental health work in over 20 countries.”
Kutcher also ran unsuccessfully for the Liberals in the Halifax riding against former NDP MP Megan Leslie in the 2011 federal election.
He is the fifth Nova Scotia senator appointed by Justin Trudeau.
In an interview, Kutcher said he plans to sit as an independent senator despite his ties to the Liberal party. He said he doesn’t believe his run for the Liberal party contributed to his appointment under the independent Senate selection process put in place by the Trudeau government, nor does he think his past support for the party will influence his work.
“I think my background speaks for itself and my work speaks for itself,” he said.
“I work for the university, I work for the hospital, but I’m independent of them. I will often take stands which other people will not agree with because I think that based on the evidence ... that’s the right stance to take.”
As a physician and scientist, Kutcher said he’s looking forward to bringing a scientific lens to looking at public policy.
“I’m very committed to using best available evidence to help our decision-making processes. ... I think that’s very important, particularly these days, so we can actually study things and come to decisions based on that kind of evidence,” he said.
Kutcher said it’s too early to tell if his Senate appointment will impact his current positions with Dalhousie and the IWK.
“The priority is the work in the Senate of course, so I’ll be meeting with my department head and the university administration over the next couple of days to sort out what the next steps will be,” he said.
Kutcher called the appointment an honour, and said he’s looking forward to getting to work in his new role.
With Wednesday’s Senate appointments, all vacancies in the Upper Chamber have been filled. The next Nova Scotia senator set to retire is Harper appointee Tom McInnis, who will turn 75 in April 2020.