Renée Dupuis was appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 2016. Senator Dupuis is a member of the Barreau du Québec and specializes in human rights, law in regard to Aboriginal peoples and administrative law. She is also accredited in civil and commercial mediation with the Barreau du Québec and has authored numerous books and other publications.
Some kind of stirring political debate was always going on at my paternal grandparents’ house when I was growing up. My grandfather, Louis-Auguste Dupuis, and all my aunts and uncles would engage in these discussions, especially my aunt Thérèse. I grew up with the understanding that women had an important civic role to play, and that their political opinions and comments were just as valid as a man’s. My grandfather was very active in the agricultural sector in the area where he was born. Land was plentiful, and he was involved in various experimental farming initiatives in the Lower St. Lawrence region on the southern shore, 250 km east of Quebec City. A notary by profession and a man who greatly enjoyed walking, he served in various public roles, including as mayor, credit union president, president of the Quebec Chambre des notaires and as a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec.
Eliminating the various forms of socioeconomic inequality, namely:
Today, information circulates constantly. Canadians are more educated than ever. As a result, Canadians have changing expectations of the people who govern them. We expect to be involved in more ways than just voting every five years. The political decision-making process should involve more citizen participation. We need new ways of carrying out consultations to ensure that Canadians can participate in areas such as studying bills that directly affect the lives of citizens, including on topics like consumer protection and banking, marijuana consumption, or protecting journalists’ sources.
I was appointed as an independent senator in November 2016. I’ve sat on a number of Senate committees since, notably the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs since my nomination. I’ve served as deputy chair since November. I also sit on the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. My work is only just beginning, but already so many subjects have caught my attention: addressing the opioid overdose crisis, fighting discrimination against transgender people, protecting journalistic sources and reducing delays in the criminal justice system, to name a few.
The area of the Laurentides I represent in the Senate covers a vast swath of northern and northeastern Quebec. It has a number of spectacular spots. The northern coastline, from L’Île d’Orléans in the estuary of the St. Lawrence River to the Labrador border, where the Laurentides mountain range is very craggy, features Quebec’s highest peaks and the majestic Saguenay fjord. Most of it is now accessible by car, almost all the way to the eastern border of Quebec, which gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the rich culture of the various francophone, anglophone and Indigenous communities that live in the area, as well as the salmon rivers, which are very scenic.
The St. Lawrence River is what ties all of these communities together; it serves as a method of transportation, and also as a source of inspiration. Local songs and literary and artistic works demonstrate this close bond.
The scattering of islands in the St. Lawrence River extending all the way to the Atlantic Ocean are host to specific varieties of Quebec flora and fauna, including some very rare ones.
Travelling away from the coastline into the interior is worth the detour: visitors can see herds of caribou, a truly unforgettable experience.
There are truly an infinite number of natural and human wonders waiting to be discovered. Come see for yourself!
A French children’s song that I’ve been singing for years, first with my two daughters when they were little and now with my grand-daughters, as I walk along the hallways of my house or down the street, or swim with them in my arms:
"Maman, les petits bateaux qui vont sur l'eau ont-ils des jambes ? Mais oui, mon gros bêta, s'ils n'en avaient pas, ils ne marcheraient pas..."(sung to a familiar tune)
The documentary “Tomorrow,” because it is about the future of our planet — a growing concern for many of us. It looks at initiatives being taken all over the world right now to save it. This aligns with my vision that every single one of us has a contribution to make.