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|Leader of the Opposition in the Senate|
January 18, 2007 – November 3, 2008
|Appointed by||Stéphane Dion|
|Preceded by||Dan Hays|
|Succeeded by||Jim Cowan|
|Senator for Bedford, Quebec|
March 21, 1995 – April 22, 2016
|Appointed by||Jean Chrétien|
|Preceded by||Paul David|
|Succeeded by||Rosa Galvez|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
|Preceded by||Prosper Boulanger|
|Succeeded by||Carole Jacques|
April 22, 1941 |
|Political party||Liberal (until 2014)
|Cabinet||Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) (1983–1984)
Minister of State (Youth) (1984)
|Portfolio||Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada (1980–1982)
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (2007–2008)
Céline Hervieux-Payette, PC (born April 22, 1941, L'Assomption, Quebec) is a former Canadian Senator and the former Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian Senate (2007-2008), the first woman ever to hold this position. She was previously a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and a cabinet minister in the government of Pierre Trudeau in the 1980s. She retired from the Senate on April 22, 2016 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
In the 1970s, Hervieux-Payette served as a political aide to the Quebec government of Premier Robert Bourassa. She also served as an administrator, as president and commissioner of the Le Gardeur School Board, and director of public relations for Steinberg Inc., a Quebec grocery and department store business.
Hervieux-Payette was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1979 election as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Mercier. She was re-elected in the 1980 election, and became parliamentary secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada. In 1983, she was appointed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport). She then served as Minister of State (Youth) from January to June 1984.
She returned to the private sector and served as vice-president, business ventures at the SNC Group, an engineering and manufacturing firm, from 1985 to 1989. From 1991 to 1995, she was Vice-President, Regulatory and Legal Affairs for Fonorola Inc., a telecommunications firm. She has been counsellor for Fasken Martineau DuMoulin since 1995.
Hervieux-Payette attempted to re-enter the House of Commons in the 1988 and 1993 elections but was defeated in both attempts. In 1995, she returned to Parliament when she was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Jean Chrétien. She is expected to remain in the Senate until she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 in 2016.
On January 18, 2007, Hervieux-Payette was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate by Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, whom she had supported during the leadership race. She also became Quebec lieutenant for Stéphane Dion in October 2007.
On November 3, 2008 she was succeeded as Leader of the Opposition by Jim Cowan.
On October 30, 2014, she tabled Bill S-224 to propose a National Seal and Seafood Products Day.
On June 11, 2015, she tabled Bill S-231 'An Act to amend the Firearms Act, the Criminal Code and the Defence Production Act', which would have changed a number of provisions for private ownership of firearms. The bill died on the order paper on August 2, 2015 when Parliament was dissolved.
On April 12, 2016, ten days before her mandatory retirement date, she tabled Bill S-223 'An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential changes to other Acts', which revisited many of the same measures in the previous Bill S-231.
Hervieux-Payette became involved in controversy in March 2006 when she responded to an American couple's letter to all Canadian Senators protesting the annual seal hunt in Newfoundland. The American, Anne McLellan, told Canadian television channel, CTV Television Network, that her family cancelled plans to vacation in Canada, describing the seal hunt as "appalling".
In her responding letter, Hervieux-Payette wrote that what she finds horrible is "the daily massacre of innocent people in Iraq, the execution of prisoners – mainly blacks – in American prisons, the massive sale of handguns to Americans, and the destabilization of the entire world by the American government's aggressive foreign policy, etc."
She later clarified her remarks, arguing that Americans should worry about their own country's behaviour before pointing fingers at other nations. Bill Graham, leader of the Liberal official opposition, subsequently issued a statement saying that the letter "reflect her personal opinions and not those of the Liberal Party of Canada."
On April 23, 2009, Hervieux-Payette unveiled the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals, seeking support from countries, NGO's and scientists to establish universal standards on seal harvest.
On Friday 28 May 2015, Hervieux-Payette sent an email to the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, all Senators and all Members of Parliament complaining about the presence of armed police officers at the doors into the Senate. She stated, "In my opinion, it is a serious mistake to arm police officers with these weapons. No matter what, the first victims of an attack will probably be police officers, because people who wish to do harm do not give advance notice. Security that relies on firepower has proven to be ineffective, and millions of Americans have paid the price for this false assumption with their lives." The letter went on to conclude that because the attacker on 22 October was killed by the Sergeant at Arms and not police, the presence of armed police was therefore unnecessary.
Electoral record (incomplete)
|Canadian federal election, 1988: Laval|
|Progressive Conservative||Guy Ricard (incumbent)||26,858||49.11|
|New Democratic||Paul Cappon||8,546||15.63|
|Commonwealth of Canada||Mario Ouellet||468||0.86|
|Total valid votes||54,691||100.00||–|
|Total rejected ballots||1,331||–||–|
|Electors on the lists||70,688||–||–|
|Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-fourth General Election, 1988.|
- http://eurekablog.ca/en/articles/politics/national/s-224-act-respecting-national-seal-and-seafood-products-day/ Article from the Senator Hervieux-Payette's website
- "Seal hunt pales next to Iraq slaughter: senator (with news video)". Ctv.ca. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- The Senator Hervieux-Payette's website
- Céline Hervieux-Payette – Parliament of Canada biography
- Liberal Senate Forum
- Senator fires back at U.S. family upset with seal hunt
|Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Canada
|Party political offices|
|Quebec lieutenant for the Leader of the Liberal Party