For over 30 years, Mr. Boisvenu worked in the Quebec government as a senior official and a deputy minister. In June 2002, his older daughter was murdered by a repeat offender. At that time, Mr. Boisvenu became committed to ensuring recognition of the rights of families of which a member has been murdered or has disappeared, so that the criminal justice system recognizes that they have the same rights as do criminals. In November 2004, with the fathers of three other families, he founded the Association des familles de personnes assassinées ou disparues (AFPAD) [association of families of murdered or disappeared persons]. This association, which accompanies and advises families that experience the brutal loss of a family member, now includes over 600 families; although no longer its president, Mr. Boisvenu remains very active and present in the association. Mr. Boisvenu has helped promote the cause of secondary victims’ rights in Quebec in particular by means of an ongoing media presence as well as numerous speaking engagements, which he continues to give. He also established the Fonds Isabelle Boisvenu, which provides scholarships to students in victim studies.
In November 2005, Mr. Boisvenu received the “Prix Justice” from the Quebec government. This award highlights significant achievement by a citizen who has made an exceptional contribution to promoting the value of justice in Quebec society.
Mr. Boisvenu is the co founder of Le Nid de Val d’Or, a home for women victims of violence, sits on a number of boards of directors, and is a member of several humanitarian organizations in the Eastern Townships region. From 2006 until March 2010, he was president of the United Way in the Eastern Townships region.
On April 14, 2008, Mr. Boisvenu published Survivre à l’innommable et reprendre le pouvoir sur sa vie [surviving the unspeakable and taking back power over your life] at Éditions de l’Homme. A second book scheduled for publication in 2011.
On January 28, 2010, Mr. Boisvenu accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and, on March 3, 2010, he was sworn in as a Senator of Canada. As a senator, he works to strengthen legislation and victims’ rights in Canada’s criminal justice system. He also hopes to have a charter of victims’ rights adopted during his term of office.
Mr. Boisvenu has three children: two daughters (Julie and Isabelle); and one son (Christian). He also has one grandson (Jakob) and one granddaughter (Roxane).
Mr. Boisvenu has received a number of awards:
- in 2001, “Le Mérite estrien” from La Tribune;
- “Le Leader de l’année 2004” from La Nouvelle;
- “La Personnalité 2004 – Société” from the Journal de Sherbrooke;
- in November 2005, the “Prix Justice” from the Quebec government. This award highlights significant achievement by a citizen who has made an exceptional contribution to promoting the value of justice in Quebec society;
- in April 2006, a few months after his appearance on “Tout le monde en parle”, selection by Guy A. Lepage as “Coup de cœur” at the Gala Artis, where he also met Dan Bigras, who spontaneously offered to become involved with AFPAD;
- in January 2007, “Citizen of the Year” from Reader’s Digest, following a vote by readers;
- in 2008, rating of his book Survivre à l’innommable as a 2007 best seller;
- in January 2010, appointment as Senator by Prime Minister Stephen Harper;
- in September 2010, selection as one of 35 influential persons in Quebec (http://www.portraitsdinfluence.org);
- in December 2010, “Humanitas 2010’’ award from Communautés solidaires de la région de Québec [Quebec City area communities in solidarity] (http://www.beauportexpress.com/Societe/Vie-communautaire/2010-12-06/section-2020472/Communautes-Solidaires-salue-la-determination-de-Pierre-Hugues-Boisvenu/1).