Political Career

Senator Fitzpatrick served as a member of the Senate of Canada for 10 years. Upon his appointment to the Senate in 1998, he chose, in addition to national responsibilities, to designate himself as representative for the Okanagan-Similkameen to concentrate on issues affecting the region. During the Senator's term in office he gave leadership to, and secured federal partnership funding for, many projects of great and lasting importance to the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the Okanagan-Similkameen region.


Upgrading the sewer system in Rutland. Expansion of the Mission Creek Greenway Trail. Water treatment plant in Kamloops. Water treatment plant in Summerland. New sewer lines for the Westside, Westbank Indian reserve and Peachland. Upgrades to water and sewage facilities in Vernon, Naramata and Osoyoos. Funding to the Okanagan Indian Band for purchase of Spotted Lake and surrounding acreage. Extension of sewer line from Peachland to Antlers Ridge. Funding a study for the creation of a new national park reserve in South Okanagan-Similkameen. Preservation of the Gellatly Nut Farm. Leadership support for the development of the South Okanagan Desert Centre and the Osoyoos Indian Band Interpretative Centre.


Kelowna Cultural Development Project. Rotary Centre for the Arts. Kelowna Women's Shelter. Kelowna Youth Detox Centre. Kelowna to support the Community Partnership Initiative. Kelowna Drop-In and Information Centre. Kelowna Community Food Bank Society. The Kelowna Gospel Mission society. St. Vincent de Paul Society. TeleHealth Video Conferencing System Development for the B.C. health care system linking smaller centers to facilities such as Children's and Women's Health Centre in Vancouver. New aquatic centre in Revelstoke. Okanagan Thompson International Sculpture Symposium. Okanagan Families Society. New Opportunities for Women Canada Society. Field house, change room, field lighting and paved parking for the Little Mountain Sports Complex Society in Salmon Arm. Washrooms for the Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong.


Kelowna International Airport Runway Improvement to allow larger aircraft to land; a new control tower and instrument landing system to improve safety and reliability of aircraft landing during poor weather; and funding for a 757 training facility. The Okanagan Partnership Funding by the National Research Council. Upgrading Penticton's Trade and Convention Centre. Funds to regional district authorities to study green sustainable economic growth. Economic development funds to the Osoyoos Indian Band. Rebuilding the Kingfisher Boat Ramp in Coldstream. Funding for the Green Sustainable Economic Development Study that aimed to balance industry and the environment. Initiating The Okanagan Partnership to foster co-operation throughout the Okanagan Valley in establishment of Green Economic Growth. Research Chairs for Okanagan University College. Rebuilding the Myra Canyon trestles following the 2003 firestorm. A new building for the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory headquarters at White Lake, near Penticton.

In addition to carrying out regional responsibilities as a member of the Senate of Canada, Senator Fitzpatrick performed his duties at the national level. In 1998 he sponsored Bill C-29, the Canada Parks Agency bill, to modernize that institution, and Bill C-53, the Canada Small Business Financing bill, to increase the availability of financing for the establishment, modernization and improvement of small businesses within Canada.

Senator Fitzpatrick guided Bill S-33, Carriage by Air bill, through the Senate which consolidated and modernized the global regime common rules for carrier liability during international transportation.

In 2003 Senator Fitzpatrick sponsored Bill C-3, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bill, which completed the investment policy reforms to the Canada Pension Plan begun by the provincial governments and the federal government in 1997.

He sponsored Bill C-11, The Westbank First Nation Self Government Bill, through the Senate legislative process which gave effect to the first stand alone, self-government agreement ever negotiated under the federal government's Inherent Right Policy. The agreement that Bill C 11 implemented was the product of many years of negotiations by the Westbank First Nation with the assistance of Senator Fitzpatrick.

Subsequently, Senator Fitzpatrick sponsored Bill C-20 which gave effect to the First Nation Fiscal and Statistical Agreement. This historic bill allows First Nations across the country to take greater control of social and economic development within their communities.

Senator Fitzpatrick was actively involved in the work of the Senate's committees including Transportation and Communication, Agricultural and Forestry and Natural Resources. As a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, he participated in the review of proposed financial legislation and crucial issues affecting the national economy and crusaded the reform of payday loan operators, review of consumer protection in the financial services sector, the United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and a review of the Proceeds of Crime (money laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Senator Fitzpatrick served as Vice Chairman of the Canada U.S. Parliamentary Association and carried the file on Softwood Lumber negotiations with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.