Percy E. Downe (born July 8, 1954) is a Canadian Senator and former political aide.

Percy E. Downe
Percy Downe photo by Djuradj Vujcic.jpg
Downe in 2013
Senator from Prince Edward Island
Assumed office
June 26, 2003
Nominated byJean Chrétien
Appointed byAdrienne Clarkson
8th Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister
In office
May 2, 2001 – June 26, 2003
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byJean Pelletier
Succeeded byEddie Goldenberg
Personal details
Born (1954-07-08) July 8, 1954 (age 65)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Political partyCanadian Senators Group (2019-present)
Other political
Liberal (until 2014)
Independent Liberal
Progressive Senate Group
Alma materUniversity of Prince Edward Island
Military service
Branch/serviceForce Mobile Command
Years of service1970–1972
UnitThe Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC)

Since graduating from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1977, Downe has had the opportunity to serve at the provincial and federal levels of Canadian Government. From 1986 to 1993, Downe was executive assistant to the Premier of Prince Edward Island, Joe Ghiz. Downe moved to Ottawa following the Liberal victory in the 1993 federal election, and served as executive assistant to the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs. He subsequently served as executive assistant to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and then the Minister of Labour.

He joined the Prime Minister's Office as director of appointments in 1998. He became Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's chief of staff in 2001. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada on June 26, 2003.

Downe is currently Vice-Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Joint-Chair of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament, a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, and is also on the Executive Committee of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.

He was also formerly a member of the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance, the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Rights and Procedures of Parliament.

Downe is also currently Vice-Chair of The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & International Monetary Fund.

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Downe, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents.[1] The Senators referred to themselves as the Senate Liberal Caucus even though they were no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.[2]

With the Senate Liberal Caucus facing losing official parliamentary caucus status in 2020 with a third of its caucus facing mandatory retirements on their turning age 75, Senator Joseph Day announced that the Senate Liberal Caucus had been dissolved and a new Progressive Senate Group formed in its wake[3][4], with the entire membership joining the new group, including this senator.[3] However, on November 18, 2019, Downe announced he was joining the Canadian Senators Group.[5]

He resides in Charlottetown with his wife and two daughters.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Trudeau's expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Tasker, John Paul (J.P.) (14 November 2019). "There's another new faction in the Senate: the Progressive Senate Group". CBC News Online. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  4. ^ "One-time Liberal senators rename themselves as Progressive Senate Group". CTV News. The Canadian Press. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  5. ^

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Pelletier
Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office
Succeeded by
Eddie Goldenberg