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Vern White resigning from Senate, moving to Finland | CBC News

Sen. Vern White is resigning from the Senate and moving to Finland — well before the upper chamber’s mandatory retirement age of 75.

White, 63, will officially leave the Senate on October 2.

Then-prime minister Stephen Harper appointed White in 2012 as a Conservative representing Ontario. White has been sitting with the non-partisan Canadian Senators Group since 2019.

White said he always intended to resign before reaching the Senate’s retirement age.

The resignation was first reported by The Hill Times.

“When I came to the Senate … I said I felt it would be a six- to nine-year job,” White said.

“I never thought I’d serve until 75 like some people speak about. I always felt it would be a term, like I’ve done with most of my jobs.”

White says he’s moving to Finland, where his daughter is going to school and his family has a home.

White travelled to the country in 2021 to visit his spouse’s family, even though officials were warning against any non-essential travel due to the pandemic.

White was a police officer before his appointment. He joined the RCMP in 1981 as a constable. He rose to the rank of assistant commissioner before retiring from the Mounties in 2005.

He then became chief of the Durham Regional Police Service before being named Ottawa’s chief of police in 2007. He served in that position until his Senate appointment in 2012.

Senator preferred policing over Parliament

White said that while he enjoyed some of his work in the Senate and will miss his colleagues there, he liked policing more than Parliament.

“I won’t miss the Senate as such. From my perspective, it’s not a place I fell in love with. Policing I probably loved, I never fell in love with the Senate,” White said.

“In law enforcement I felt you could make a difference quickly … I felt the Senate — as one senator told me — you nudge things forward. I’ve never been great at nudging.”

White’s departure from the Senate will create a vacancy on Parliament’s National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).

White said he’s looking forward to new opportunities.

“I’m still humbled and honoured to have had an opportunity to serve in the Canadian Senate,” White said.

“I’m leaving with good thoughts. I’m looking for my next big adventure more than anything else.”

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