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Conservative Senator Leo Housakos is shown in Montreal on Jan., 9, 2009.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos of Quebec has been named Speaker of the upper chamber, replacing Pierre Claude Nolin who died last month.

Housakos, 47, was unanimously elected Speaker on a temporary basis last December, to fill in as Nolin fought a rare form of cancer.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the appointment is backed by both the government and opposition leaders in the Senate.

The new Speaker is a businessman appointed to the Senate in 2008.

Sen. Claude Carignan, government leader in the Senate, says Housakos supports modernizing the upper house to make it more responsible and accountable.

Harper says Housakos's work on Senate committees, as well as his time filling in for Nolin, will serve him well in the chair.