Alzheimer's-afflicted Liberal Sen. Joyce Fairbairn resigns

Associated Press

OTTAWA - Liberal Sen. Joyce Fairbairn, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, has resigned her seat in the upper chamber.

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae announced her departure in a release in which he said Fairbairn had served Canada with dignity, pride and devotion for more than four decades.

The 73-year-old former journalist was the focus of considerable controversy earlier this year when it was learned she had continued to vote in the Senate for months despite being declared legally incompetent last February due to her degenerating mental health.

She has been on an extended leave since the summer.

Fairbairn, who was appointed to the Senate by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau in 1984, served as government leader in the upper chamber in Jean Chretien's government.

Her departure leaves just four Trudeau-appointed senators still serving.

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