Victims advocate Boisvenu named senator

CBC News

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu founded the Murdered or Missing Persons Families Association following the slaying of his daughter Julie in 2002.
Quebec’s latest senator, victim’s rights advocate Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, said he will use his position to further the Conservative government’s ‘get-tough on crime’ agenda.

Boisvenu, who founded the Murdered or Missing Persons’ Families Association following the killing of his daughter Julie in 2002, was one of five people named to the Senate by the Prime Minister on Friday.

Boisvenu’s appointment is seen as an attempt to win over support in Quebec, where Stephen Harper’s anti-crime legislation has failed to win the party votes.

The move comes the day after Justice Minister Rob Nicholson issued a statement confirming the government intends to revive a controversial bill that would impose tougher sentences on young offenders.

“It is an enormous privilege to be able to sit in the senate under the colours of the Conservative Party, which I feel is the only party that is working in the interest of victims,” Boisvenu said.

The former Quebec civil servant said he will re-evaluate his position in the senate after a four-year period.

“I have some goals to do in the four years to come about public security and justice,” Boisvenu said. “I will give that government all my best to be sure that things will change.”

“I won’t be there until my death,” he said.

In a statement, the Prime Minister said the appointments are a step towards implementing the government’s “tackling-crime agenda.”

“These new senators are committed to community safety and justice for the victims of crime,” Harper said. “I look forward to working with each towards making our communities safer and protecting families from crime.”

Crime agenda controversial in Quebec

The Conservative crime agenda has been attacked by the Bloc Quebecois, which portrayed the proposed changes to the young offenders act as something that goes against the ideals of Quebec society.

But, Boisvenu could help provide the Conservatives with a solution to that problem, said pollster Christian Bourque of Léger Marketing.

Quebecers aren’t necessarily against the idea of taking a tougher stance on crime, Bourque said.

“One of the issue is trying to find pertinent spokespeople on the ground in Quebec to back this up,” he said.

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