Hon. Pierre J. Dalphond: Colleagues, before I joined the Senate, like many Quebecers, I knew that Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu had been a champion for victims of crime ever since the terrible murder of his daughter in 2002 by a dangerous offender and that he, along with three other bereaved fathers, had founded the Murdered or Missing Persons’ Families Association.
I also knew that he could occasionally be the target of criticism. Some have described his ideas as right-wing, which is not a crime. As a senator, he supported all of the Harper government’s law-and-order policies. He even became an important spokesperson for these policies in Quebec.
He’s known to enjoy answering questions from journalists and has never hesitated to use shock phrases that make his message stick. This has sometimes caused him some embarrassment.
In his 2008 book, entitled Survivre à l’innommable et reprendre le pouvoir sur sa vie, or surviving the unspeakable and reclaiming control of your life, he said that his two daughters, so tragically lost, guide him every day and sometimes even tell him when he’s gone too far.
For me, personally, the man I came to know in the Senate, whether at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee or on parliamentary trips, is sincere, polite and, yes, partisan.
I can honestly say that we have enjoyed warm relations, even when we don’t share the same point of view.
Today, I want to applaud his outstanding contribution to getting the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights passed in 2015, as well as his active support for initiatives to protect female victims of violence.
It may be time for him to leave the Senate, but I do not believe it is time for him to retire. Last Sunday, he told a Radio-Canada reporter that he would miss the media, but there seemed to be a twinkle in his eye. When asked about the next chapter of his life, he said he wanted to continue advocating for victims’ rights, either as a volunteer with the association he co-founded, which now includes over 700 families, or as a Conservative MP in the House of Commons. Anyone who thinks that Pierre-Hugues’s departure from the upper chamber means the end of his parliamentary career would be mistaken. On the contrary, his time here could very well vault him into the other place where, just like in the United States, men over 75 have a bright future.
All the best, my friend!