Bernadette Clement appointed to Senate

In this September 2020, file photo, Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement stands outside the justice building on Pitt Street. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement has been appointed to the Senate of Canada.

Clement was among three appointments made Tuesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She resigned immediately as the mayor of the City of Cornwall (June 22).

In a statement, Clement says it’s an “incredible honour, which feels both thrilling and wistful.”

The lawyer and executive director of the Roy McMurtry Legal Clinic has served three terms as city councillor and was mayor since 2018.

Even during her municipal political career, she had her eyes set on higher office running twice unsuccessfully against Guy Lauzon to be Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry in 2011 and 2015.

Conservative MP Eric Duncan congratulated Clement in a statement. “It was certainly a surprise to learn of this news, but Bernadette’s professional and personal experience, and local support from the citizens of Cornwall over 15 years is certainly respectable and her experience speaks for itself.”

Duncan also noted that Trudeau’s appointment broke the promise of non-partisan appointments to the Senate. Not only did Clement run twice federally as a Liberal candidate, she was on stage with Trudeau in Waterloo, Ont. helping to unveil the Liberal platform during the last federal election campaign in 2015.

As far as city council goes, Coun. Todd Bennett will serve this month as acting mayor until council chooses what to do next. That will happen at the June 28 meeting. Council has to make a decision within the next two months whether to appoint someone or hold a by-election.