UPDATE 2021/06/22 2:25 p.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan.
CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement has been appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Senate of Canada. As a result of her new appointment she has resigned her position as Mayor effective immediately. Clement will be serving as one of the 24 Senators from Ontario.
Clement has served on Cornwall City Council for many years, and was elected as the first female Mayor in 2018 and was at that time also the first Black female mayor in the history of the province of Ontario. Clement has also previously run for the Liberal Party of Canada in the riding of Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry in 2011 and 2015.
“This is an incredible honour, which feels both thrilling and wistful” said Clement in a statement to the media. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, which I cannot wait to start. However, I am very sad to resign from my role as the Mayor of Cornwall. It’s quite remarkable that you can feel such opposing emotions intensely and at the same time.”
Under the regulations of the Municipal Act, the City of Cornwall has 60 days to hold a by-election or appoint someone to fill the vacancy. For the month of June, Councillor Todd Bennett will serve as Acting mayor.
“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. 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,” reads a statement from Prime Minister Trudeau.
Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan offered his congratulations to Senator Clement.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement on her appointment today to the Senate of Canada,” Duncan wrote 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. I have always worked well with Bernadette on local federal issues, and I know that this relationship will continue in her new role.”
Clement is the first Black woman to be appointed to the Senate since Senator Anne Cools in 1984.
Bernadette Clement, James Quinn, and Hassan Yussuff have dedicated their careers – as public servants and community leaders – to serving others. Today, they have been appointed to the Senate, where I know they’ll continue to make a difference. More here: https://t.co/77ExEkiYfL
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 22, 2021