The Hon. Sarmite Bulte


The Hon. Sarmite Bulte

The Honourable Sarmite (Sam) Bulte, P.C., B.A., J.D. is a lawyer having represented the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park from 1997-2006 as a Liberal MP.  Sam served on numerous Standing Committees in various capacities.  She also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Status of Women as well as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry with a special emphasis on women entrepreneurs.  Sam chaired Prime Minister Chretien’s Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs, the results and recommendations of which became an international best practice.  In 2004, Sam was appointed to the Privy Council.

Throughout most of her political career, Sam served as the Chairperson of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and served on the CPA’s international Executive Committee (EXCO).  She was also a very active member of the APEC Women’s Leader Network.  While in Parliament, Sarmite established the Canada-Baltic Friendship Group.

Sam currently serves as a senior international consultant in the field of parliamentary development with a focus on institutional reform and capacity building development, including gender mainstreaming.  Sam has worked internationally as a consultant with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the United Nations Entity for Women’s Empowerment (UNWOMEN).  Sam has provided parliamentary capacity building training and assistance in the following countries:  Kosovo, Macedonia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Cambodia, Puntland, Somaliland, Sint Maarten, Yemen, Moldova, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, South Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Georgia, and Malawi.

Sam has also served as a member of NDI’s international election observation missions in Tunisia, Morocco, and Georgia.

A seasoned Board, Committee and Task Force member for over thirty (30) years, Sam has held various positions over the years including Chairperson of the Canadian Association of Women Executives & Entrepreneurs; Founding Member, Director, and Vice-President, International, of the Women Entrepreneurs of Canada; Chairperson of the Canadian Stage Company; Director of the Council for Business and the Arts; Chairperson of the Artscape Foundation; Chairperson of the Toronto Museum Project Champions;  Director of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation; Director of Runnymede Hospital; Director of  the Nightwood Theatre;  and Director of SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival.

Sam is also the recipient of many awards, including:  University of Toronto University College  Alumni of Influence 2016; Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012; Order of the Republic of Lithuania; The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference Award; Joanna Townsend Award from the Organization of Women in International Trade [Ontario]; Women Entrepreneurs of Canada (WEC) Life Tribute Award; Estonian Canadian Gold Medal of Merit; Canadian Polish Congress (Toronto Branch) Silver Award for exceptional work on behalf of the Polish Community in Parkdale-High Park; Soroptomist International Eastern Canada Region 2000 Women of Distinction; Ontario Volunteer Service Award; Canadian Embassy in Washington’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Businesswomen Associations in Canada; and the City of Toronto Mayor’s Tribute to the Business & the Arts Award.