Colin Kenny was summoned to the Senate on June 29th, 1984 by the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau, representing the Province of Ontario. From 1969 until 1979 he was in the Prime Minister’s Office as Special Assistant, Director of Operations, Policy Advisor and Assistant Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In the early 1980s, he served as an executive with Dome Petroleum in Calgary, Alberta.
During his parliamentary career, Senator Kenny has served on numerous committees of special relevance to defence and national security issues. They include the Special Committee on Terrorism and Security from 1986-88 and again from 1989-91, and the Special Joint Committee on Canadian Defence Policy in 1994. In 2004, Senator Kenny vice-chaired the Interim Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security focusing security and intelligence community oversight. He was the inaugural Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, serving from 2001-2009.
Senator Kenny has also been active in the North Atlantic Parliamentary Assembly where he was elected Rapporteur for the Defence and Security Committee (2000-2001), Chair of the Subcommittee on the Future of Security and Defence Capabilities (1999-2000), Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on the Future of the Armed Forces (1999-2000).
Senator Kenny has also authored and sponsored a number of pieces of private member’s legislation on Alternative Fuels and Tobacco Control. He succeeding in getting legislation passed which called for the conversion of 75% of the federal government vehicle fleet to alternative fuels like ethanol. His efforts to combat youth smoking alone resulted in a ten-fold increase in spending on federal anti-smoking programs.
Senator Kenny served as Deputy Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs from 2001 to 2002. Their final report, “Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy” can be found here.
Senator Kenny has been widely published on a range of issues including defence policy, ballistic missile defence, Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, defence procurement, strategic airlift, alternative fuels, the Arctic and off-shore drilling operations, aviation security, port security, border security, and wide variety of Canadian political issues.
In 2009, Senator Kenny became a Commissioner of the Trilateral Commission.
In 2012, he became a member of the Johns Hopkins University, Atlantic Basin Initiative’s Eminent Persons Group.
In 1966, Senator Kenny graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Business.
In 1967, he recieved a public service fellowship from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire while attending the Tuck School of Business.