Former Senate ag chair named “P.C.”

Retired Saskatchewan Tory senator Len Gustafson will now be “P.C.” for the rest of his life.

Gustafson, a farmer, businessman, southwestern Saskatchewan MP (1979-93) and senator (1993-2008), was named Thursday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council.

The Privy Council, an honourary body of councillors to “aid and advise in the government of Canada,” consists of all living federal cabinet ministers past and present, as well as a number of provincial premiers and other “distinguished persons,” sworn in by the governor general on the prime minister’s advice.

Privy councillors retain the title of “Honourable” for life and may use the letters “P.C.” after their names.

Gustafson, who retired from the Senate on reaching age 75, was the Tories’ critic for the Canadian Wheat Board in the House of Commons (1983-84) and a member of the Commons ag committee (1979-84, 1991-93) as well as the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister (1984-93).

After his appointment to the Senate by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1993, for which he resigned his Commons seat as the MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, Gustafson was a member, vice-chair (1994-96, 2004-08) and chairman (1996-2002) of the Senate standing committee on agriculture and forestry.

“Len Gustafson’s passion for agriculture made him a leading champion on agricultural issues on Parliament Hill for almost 30 years,” the federal government said in its announcement Thursday.

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