Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising
Log In

16 things you didn’t know about Senator Chantal Petitclerc

By Christina Leadlay      
Share a story
The story link will be added automatically.

Former paralympian Chantal Petitclerc was one of the seven new independent senators appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 18, 2016. The Globe and Mail has called her the world’s fastest woman on three wheels, but her new job in the Red Chamber doesn’t mean she’s slowing down. In addition to helping fine-tune legislation, Petitclerc will also be Canada’s chef de mission at the summer 2016 Brazil Olympics. Here she tells P&I about lobster risotto, her favourite book, and the best advice she’s received.

Where were you when you got the call to be a senator?

I was home, around 5:30 p.m., making dinner for my two-and-a-half-year-old son… He [Trudeau] announced that I was appointed and we talked casually for a while, and at some point my son got impatient and wanted the phone, so I said: “Elliot, you want to say something to the prime minister?” Mr. Trudeau said: “I like the name,” and laughed, then he talked with Elliot for a bit.

What were you known for in high school?

For being the only person in a wheelchair in the school! But also for swimming. I would swim every day or so.

Coffee or tea?

Espresso. Too much!

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

I have travelled so much… I do love Tokyo, Japan.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I did some scuba diving, skydiving. But that’s fun, not crazy. Trying to win five gold [medals] in one game was pretty crazy.

Cats or dogs?

I have two cats that are 14-years-old: Miso and Pu-yi. Miso is named after the soup. Pu-yi is named after the last Emperor of China. I use him as a culture test for my guests.

What is your favourite book?

Germinal by Émile Zola.

What did you eat for dinner last night?

I had lobster risotto with a glass of red wine. Perhaps not the best pairing, but both were good!

Early bird or night owl?

Early… I like to wake around 6 a.m. and I work best in the morning.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Every time you get an offer, ask yourself three questions: Does it pay well? Is it fun? Does it fit your professional plan? If you don’t answer yes to at least two out of three, don’t do it.”

What’s the best thing about your job?

Feeling like you can make a difference in the lives of Canadians.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

Becoming paraplegic at the age of 12…You know right away that your life will never be the same again.

You’re hosting a dinner party with three wise people. Who do you invite living or dead?

Simone de Beauvoir, no one else. I always find my best conversations are one on one.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Winning 14 gold medals for Canada. The adrenaline, the work it takes – I don’t know what compares to this, but it’s a powerful feeling.

If you could get the answer to any question, what would that question be?

Do we ever stop stressing about the small things?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Right here, in the Senate, playing my part… and getting good at it! p-and-i-graphic-copy

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning

Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

McKenna wins re-election in Ottawa Centre, trumpets voters’ support for climate fight

News|By Neil Moss
'I’m so relieved,' Catherine McKenna said, about continuing with the Liberal climate change plan.

Election 2019 was a ‘campaign of fear,’ say pollsters

'There may well be a message to this to the main parties, that slagging each other will only take you so far,' says Greg Lyle.

Election 2019 campaign one of the most ‘uninspiring, disheartening, and dirtiest’ in 40 years, says Savoie

News|By Abbas Rana
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she has never seen an election where mudslinging overwhelmingly dominated the campaign, leaving little or no time for policy discussion.

Strategic voting to determine if Liberals will form government, say political players

News|By Abbas Rana
As many as nine per cent of progressive voters could vote strategically in this close election potentially affecting the outcome in more than 100 ridings, says Innovative Research president Greg Lyle.

Turkish offensive should pressure feds to act on repatriation of Canadian citizens in Kurdish-controlled ISIS detention camps, says expert

News|By Neil Moss
The issue of repatriation will be less politically fraught after the election, says expert.

Business tops experience among 2019 candidates, one-third have run for office before

Here’s an analysis of the record 1,700-plus candidates running for the six major parties this election.

Pod save us all: the growing role of political podcasts in election 2019

News|By Mike Lapointe
The Hill Times spoke with some podcast hosts taking a deeper dive into the political nitty-gritty, within a medium that only continues to grow in popularity.

No-shows from Conservative candidate could hurt party’s chances in tight Kanata-Carleton race, say politicos

News|By Palak Mangat
The Conservative's candidate, Justin McCaffrey, has skipped two events, including a debate on the environment, intended to feature all candidates.

For whom will the bell toll in Peterborough-Kawartha?

In a riding where voters are deeply engaged in the political process, candidates avoid the low-hanging fruit and stay out of the mud as they grapple with who to send to the House of Commons.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.