Larry Smith (Canadian politician)

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Larry Smith

Larry Smith.png
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
In office
April 1, 2017 November 5, 2019
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Claude Carignan
Succeeded by Don Plett
Senator from Quebec (Saurel)
Assumed office
May 25, 2011
Nominated by Stephen Harper
Appointed by David Johnston
Preceded byHimself
In office
December 18, 2010 March 25, 2011
Nominated by Stephen Harper
Appointed by David Johnston
Preceded by Jean Lapointe
Succeeded byHimself
Personal details
Born (1951-04-28) April 28, 1951 (age 70)
Hudson, Quebec, Canada
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)Leesa [1]
Children Brad, Wes, Ashley [1]
ResidenceHudson, Quebec, Canada [1]
Alma mater Bishop's University (B.A.)
McGill University (B.C.L.)
ProfessionAthlete, businessman
Football career
Career information
CFL status National
Position(s) RB
College Bishop's
CFL draft 1972 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Drafted by Montreal Alouettes
Career history
As player
19721980 Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards

Larry W. Smith, CQ (born April 28, 1951) is a Canadian athlete, businessperson and member of the Senate of Canada. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from April 2017 until November 2019.



Smith graduated from Bishop's University with a bachelor's degree in economics. He was the first overall selection of the 1972 CFL Draft and went on to play nine seasons in the Canadian Football League, all of them as a running back with the Montreal Alouettes. Smith earned a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in 1976, having undertaken his studies for law while playing pro football.

Football management career

Smith became the Canadian Football League's eighth commissioner in 1992 and oversaw the league's ill-fated attempt to expand to the United States. [2] Smith then oversaw the re-location of the Baltimore Stallions to Montreal, where they became the Montreal Alouettes for the CFL's 1996 season. After resigning as commissioner in 1997, Smith served as president of the Alouettes until 2001 and again from 2004 to 2010.

Business career

Smith was president and publisher of the Montreal Gazette newspaper from 2002 to 2004. He has also held positions with Industrial Life Technical Services, John Labatt, Ltd., and Ogilvie Mills, Ltd.

Political career

Smith considered running for leader of the then new Conservative Party of Canada in 2004 and was widely reported by Canadian press at the time to be on the verge of entering the race before finally declaring he would not be a candidate. [3]

On December 18, 2010, Smith was summoned to the Canadian Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and sat as a Conservative. Following his appointment to the Senate, Smith announced his intention to seek the nomination to run as a Conservative candidate in Lac-Saint-Louis in the next federal election. [4] When asked in a television interview why he accepted the appointment while intending to run for a Commons seat, Smith complained that he was taking a "dramatic, catastrophic" pay cut by serving as a senator, [5] a remark for which Smith has been criticized. [6]

Smith was defeated in his attempt to enter Parliament, placing third behind the incumbent Liberal MP and the NDP candidate, and it was announced on May 18, 2011, he would be re-appointed to the Senate.

The Conservative Senate Caucus elected Smith its leader on March 28, 2017; Smith defeated Senators Linda Frum and Stephen Greene for the position, and took office on April 1, 2017. [7]

Personal life

Smith has two sons and a daughter. One of his sons, Bradley, is a former receiver for the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos, while his daughter, Ashley, was formerly married to CFL placekicker and punter Damon Duval. [8]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Larry Smith". Montreal: Montreal Alouettes. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  2. Berkovich, Karlo (April 3, 1998). "Ex-CFL head has worries for all pro sports". Waterloo Region Record . p. C2.
  3. McClintock, Maria (November 17, 2003). "Lord knows, time is not right' N.B. Premier won't run for fed leader". Toronto Sun. p. 21.
  4. "Tories hope Smith's star appeal will bring victory in Montreal". Globe and Mail. Canada. December 21, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  5. "'Catastrophic' pay cut to be senator: Smith". CBC News. December 22, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  6. "Larry Smith criticized for salary comment". CTV News. December 23, 2010.
  7. "Senator Larry Smith elected leader of Senate Conservatives". CBC News. March 28, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  8. "Duval and Popp at odds". Montreal Gazette. November 7, 2007. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007.