The Late Nadine Girault

By: The Hon. Amina Gerba

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Centennial flame, Ottawa

Hon. Amina Gerba: Honourable senators, let me begin by thanking the Canadian Senators Group for giving me their speaking time today.

To this day, and despite more and more scientific research, cancer is still taking a toll in Canadian society. Some of our fellow citizens manage to recover from this disease while others, for the most part, succumb to it.

I rise today to pay tribute to Nadine Girault and honour her memory. The former Quebec minister of international relations and la francophonie was taken by this terrible disease on February 13, 2023.

Born in 1959 in Saint Louis, Missouri, to Haitian parents, Nadine Girault grew up in the beautiful Quebec town of Gaspé where her family settled after fleeing the dictatorship in Haiti.

After graduating from high school in Gaspé, Nadine Girault moved to Montreal where she earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing at the École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal and a master’s in business administration at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Nadine had a rich and varied career, going from Xerox to the Bank of Montreal, with stints at Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec, the Montreal police force, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Desjardins Group.

In 2018, Nadine decided to enter provincial politics and was elected as an MNA for Coalition avenir Québec, representing the riding of Bertrand. Nadine would be appointed as the Quebec minister of international relations and la francophonie under Premier François Legault’s first government.

During Nadine’s first term, Quebec unveiled its Africa strategy, which included an investment of $50 million to fund projects and Quebec companies interested in doing business in Africa. It was also under her leadership that Quebec appointed the largest number of women to Quebec delegations around the world.

Nadine was a dignified, elegant, hard-working and very athletic woman. She was a model of selflessness and resilience, an inspiration for the diversity of our country and an example of a leader who made public service a priority.

As I extend my sincere condolences to her family and her party, I salute the memory of a woman who proudly represented Quebec and the French language abroad.

Rest in peace, Nadine Girault, my dear and sorely missed friend.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

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