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Peter Harder: Former Vineland resident now a Senator

Friday March 18, 2016, was a great day for Beamsville District Secondary graduate Peter Harder.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Harder to the Senate of Canada, further appointing him as Leader of the Government in the Senate. This position was previously known as the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Harder has had a long and distinguished career in the Canadian civil service including serving as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and as a Senior Policy Adviser.

In the newly reorganized Senate, there will be a de-emphasis on political affiliation and Harder, who has served Canadian prime ministers on both sides of the aisle, is an “excellent choice” to head the transition of the Upper Chamber, said Niagara West MP Dean Allison.

Harder and the other 6 new appointees have agreed to sit as “independents” and will represent minority and regional interests from across the country.

One of Harder’s first tasks will be to steer the first Liberal Party budget of the Justin Trudeau era through the Senate.

Harder is a graduate of Vineland Public School, Beamsville D.S.S., the University of Waterloo and Queen’s. He moved to Ottawa as a parliamentary intern and rose through the civil service spending time as a foreign service officer, Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Deputy Minister of Industry before being named as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Harder has represented Canada at conferences all over the world and has won numerous awards. In 2000 he received the “Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Public Service”. Then, in 2012, Harder received the “”Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.”

His parents owned and operated Harder’s Dry Goods for many years in Vineland. That store is now part of Heida’s.

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