CORNWALL – Bernadette Clement, who since 2018 has been mayor of the City of Cornwall, has been appointed to serve in the Senate of Canada.
Clement is the first women elected as mayor of Cornwall, and the first Black woman elected as mayor of any municipality in Ontario.
“This is an incredible honour, which feels both thrilling and wistful,” Clement said in a release June 22. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, which I cannot wait to start.”
She said she is very sad to resign as mayor of Cornwall. Her resignation is effective immediately.
“It’s quite remarkable that you can feel such opposing emotions intensely and at the same time,” she added.
Clement’s mother grew up in Manitoba as a francophone, and her father grew up in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada as an adult.
Born in Montreal, she graduated from the University of Ottawa and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1991.
Clement began her career as a legal aid lawyer at the Roy McMurtry Legal Clinic and continues to practice law there.
She was first elected to Cornwall council in 2007 and has served on council continuously since.
Clement is one of three people appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Hassan Yussuff (Ontario) is the former president of the Canadian Labour Congress, and James Quinn (New Brunswick) is the current president and CEO of the Saint John Port Authority. All three senators will serve as independents in the Senate.
“Ms. Clement, Mr. Yussuff, and Mr. Quinn are exemplary public servants and community leaders who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in the lives of others,” Trudeau said in a release. “I look forward to working with them, and all Senators, as we continue to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic, take steps toward our recovery, and build back a more resilient and inclusive Canada for everyone.”
Clement is the seventh black person, and the fourth black woman appointed to the Senate.