Claude Carignan was appointed to the Senate on August 27, 2009, by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Senator Carignan has a longstanding record of social and community engagement.
A native of Champlain, in Mauricie, Claude Carignan is married to lawyer Brigitte Binette and has three children, Jérémie, Jean-Francis and Anne-Charlotte. He holds a law degree from the Université de Sherbrooke and a graduate degree in administrative law from the Université de Montréal. Carignan has worked as a lawyer since his admission to the Quebec Bar in 1988, specializing in civil litigation, labour relations, and health and social services law. He is coauthor of Loi sur les décrets de convention collective annotée, published by Wilson & Lafleur in 1990.
While practicing, Mr. Carignan also taught labour law administration at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law and at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He also taught at the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP). Mr. Carignan was elected mayor of Saint-Eustache in November 2000 and devoted himself to the harmonious social, economic and environmental development of his city. His nine years as mayor are full of progressive achievements that contributed to a very significant improvement in the quality of life of the city’s residents. Mr. Carignan was also active in the key decision-making authorities at the local, regional and provincial levels, where he worked to provide his municipality and region with the tools they need for development.
For example, after serving as chair of its justice and public safety commission, Claude Carignan was second vice-president of the Union des municipalités du Québec. In April 2008, he was appointed president of the Conseil sur les services policiers du Québec, an advisory body created to advise the Quebec Minister of Public Security on all policing matters. With his public safety expertise, Mr. Carignan went on to moderate and chair several seminars and workshops at a number of national conferences and symposia. From 2007 to 2009, he was president of the Centre for Expertise and Research on Infrastructures in Urban Areas (CERIU).
Claude Carignan also played an active role in several committees and commissions in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) and served as vice-warden of the Deux-Montagnes MRC and on the Conférence régionale des élus executive council. From 2005 to 2009, he was vice-president of both the Conseil intermunicipal de transport des Laurentides and the Association des Conseils intermunicipaux de transport du Québec.
Deeply involved in the community, Claude Carignan has helped promote numerous charitable causes, sat on the boards of several social agencies in his region and created the Fondation Élite Saint-Eustache, which helps talented young people in his community.
Since his appointment to the Senate in 2009, Mr. Carignan has been hard at work on the following committees: – Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs – Steering Committee of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs – Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration – Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament
In May 2011, the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate, appointed him Deputy Leader of the Government. In this role, Senator Carignan supports the Leader of the Government in managing the government’s priorities in the Upper House. He also plays a key role in ensuring that parliamentary rules are followed during Senate debates, as well as assisting his Senate colleagues with any questions on parliamentary issues.
In September 2013, after two years to serve as deputy Leader of the Government, Claude Carignan is appointed by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper to the position of Leader of the Government in the Senate. He is also a member of the Privy Council.
On November 4, 2015, Senator Carignan is appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, a position he held until March 31, 2017. Senator Carignan currently sits on the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and on the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.
In 2017, Senator Carignan was appointed Vice President, Legal Affairs, for Réseau Sélection, a leading company in Canada among private actors in the area of retirement complexes.