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France honours Senator Tardif
February 28, 2016

“Throughout my personal and professional journey, two common threads have shaped my choices, my commitments, my causes, and my actions — education, and the French language.”

Senator Claudette Tardif

She has tirelessly defended and promoted the linguistic and cultural rights of Francophones in Canada, and this senator can now add the highest distinction that France can bestow to her list of achievements.

On February 17, 2016, Senator Claudette Tardif received the French Legion of Honour for her advocacy efforts as well as her important contributions to secondary and postsecondary education. As chair of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association for seven years and now as vice-chair, the Franco-Albertan senator also works to solidify Canada’s relations with France.

During the event held at the Embassy of France, Senator Tardif spoke of the deep roots she has in the French language:

[This award] represents the ultimate recognition for my grandmother Provost, who had a major influence in my life. Born Ernestine Brochu in Saint-Isidore de Dorchester, Quebec, she travelled to Alberta where she met her future husband Rosario Provost, native of Napierville, Quebec.

As pioneers and settlers, my grandparents have always supported the importance of education and French language; despite significant challenges. It is thanks to them that I learned French, in private schools, in a province that offered little support to its French citizens.

I also want to recognize the important contributions of my husband Denis Tardif’s ancestors to the colonization of New-France. Olivier Le Tardif Honfleur arrived in New France with Samuel de Champlain in 1617 to become an interpreter and learn the language of the Algonquin, Montagnais, and Hurons. Olivier Le Tardif often appeared alongside Champlain as an interpreter respected and valued during the negotiations with these peoples.

Note to readers: The Honourable Claudette Tardif retired from the Senate of Canada in February, 2018. Learn more about her work in Parliament.