Jean Forest is a former Manitoban who, with her husband Rocky, now a retired businessman, moved to Alberta in 1947. For the next 50 years, they lived in Edmonton where they both took an active part in the life of the community.
Jean became a partner in the family business which Rocky founded in the mid-fifties and later exchanged her interest in the company for a business of her own. She served for 13 years as President and Managing Director of Jas-Day Investments Ltd., a company which owns Mountain Park Lodges, operating hotels in Jasper National Park. She also was appointed a director of Northern Transportation Co. Ltd. and C.N. Rail, crown corporations which were both privatized during her term on the board.
As a former teacher and the mother of a large family, Jean's interest in education led her to seek election to the Edmonton Catholic School Board, on which she served for nine years as a Trustee (1968 - 1977), three of those years as Chairperson. During that time, she also served as President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustee's Association.
In 1972, Jean was elected to the Senate of the University of Alberta and shortly thereafter was elected Senate representative on the Board of Governors. After six years in these positions, she was elected Chancellor of the University and served the four-year term from 1978 - 1982.
Jean was appointed to Alberta's first Human Rights Commission in 1974 and to the Minister's Advisory Committee on the constitution in 1978.
Jean has been actively involved in the life of her church at the local, regional and national levels. She has been the western representative on a number of committees set up by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. She also served on the National Pastoral Planning Committee for the Papal visit to Canada. She is a former President of the Edmonton Archdiocesan Council for Women and a former Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of Newman Theological College.
In 1996, Jean was summoned to the Senate of Canada and served until her resignation in 1998 because of concerns for her husband's health.
Rocky and Jean then retired to Victoria, where Jean is still active in church work and as a volunteer tutor for immigrant children. She also serves as a member of the Board of Island Catholic Schools.