Member of Parliament, Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine (QC), House of Commons, Ottawa, ON. Born: Montreal, QC.
The Hon. Marlene Jennings was first elected as the MP for NDG-Lachine in June 1997. She was re-elected in November 2000, June 2004, January 2006 and in October 2008. She is the first Black woman from Quebec to be elected to Parliament in the history of Confederation, a Liberal critic for Justice and Attorney-General, and is a member of Privy Council.
During the previous Liberal government, Ms. Jennings was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (with emphasis on Canada-US relations), as well as Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada and to the Minister for International Cooperation.
Ms. Jennings worked within both the public and private sectors. Between 1988 and 1997 she earned almost ten years experience in the area of policing, first as a member of the Quebec Police Commission and then as Deputy Commissioner for Police Ethics for the Province of Quebec.
Professionally, she has been active at the trade union level and in the areas of employment equity and communications for women, aboriginal peoples, and ethnic and racial minorities. Para-professionally, Ms. Jennings has been active in the areas of police ethics, race relations, and minority women’s issues, and she has volunteered in many community associations. With expertise in public accountability and civilian oversight of law enforcement, Ms. Jennings has been the recipient of the Jackie Robinson Award for Professionals, awarded by the Montreal Association of Black Business Persons and Professionals.
Affiliations: Member of the Standing Committee on on Justice and Human Rights; Member of the Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary (Friendship) Group, of which she was Vice-Chair (2006-07) and Chair (2005-06); Vice-Chair (Liberal) of the All-Party Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity; sworn to the Québec Bar Association (1988).
Favourite book? I can’t narrow it down to a favourite book, because I’m an avid reader and I love too many. My favourite genre is historical fiction.
Favourite quote? “Every time you get a ‘no’, you’re that much closer to getting a ‘yes’. ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘no’, it just means ‘no for now’.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Travel the world; African continent in particular.
Who inspires you? People with moral courage, like Nelson Mandela.
Why do you do what you do? Because I love it and I’m able to help people.