Former Liberal senator Joyce Fairbairn dead at 82

The federal government confirms former Canadian senator Joyce Fairbairn has died at the age of 82.

Flags outside of government buildings in Lethbridge will fly at half-mast to honour the late southern Alberta senator who served from her appointment in 1984 until her resignation in 2013.

Neither the nature of Fairbairn’s death nor details regarding her funeral have been released.

The former journalist, who was born in Lethbridge in 1939, worked in the office of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau for 14 years.

She was the first woman to serve as leader of the government in the senate, a position she held from 1993 through 1997, and was an Honorary Colonel with the 18th Air Defence Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery from 1997 through 2010.

Her resignation in 2013 came after an extended sick leave that followed a dementia diagnosis.

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