Braley appointed to Senate

ALTHIA RAJ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:01 PM ET

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government appointed David Braley, the owner of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts and B.C. Lions, to the Senate Thursday.

Opposition parties were quick to point out Braley was the largest donor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative leadership campaign in 2004.

The NDP said Braley and his auto parts manufacturing company Orlick Industry Limited donated $46,500 to Harper's campaign.

Liberals said Braley and Orlick have donated $99,000 to the Conservatives in the past five years.

Harper said Braley was selected for a Senate appointment because of his involvement in sports and philanthropy, which demonstrate his commitment to his community and country.

The prime minister said his new senator is committed to making the Senate "more democratic and accountable." Owner of the B.C. Lions since 1997, Braley purchased the Toronto Argonauts in February. He is a former owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a former chairman of the CFL board of governors and was interim CFL commissioner for a short time in 2002.

Braley was vacationing out of the country Thursday and was unavailable for comment.

He replaces Conservative Sen. Wilbert Keon, who on Monday turned 75, which is the mandatory retirement age for senators.

The Conservatives have 51 senators, the Liberals 49 and there are five independents.


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