Claudette Tardif is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost advocates and defenders of minority linguistic and cultural rights and for her considerable contribution to both secondary and post-secondary education.
She was educated at the University of Alberta, where she obtained a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education and a Major in French in 1968; a Master of Education in Secondary Education in 1978; and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration in 1984. She remains Professor Emeritus of the University of Alberta. In 2006, she was conferred an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Tardif began her professional career in 1968 as a High School Teacher with the Edmonton Catholic Schools. In 1977 she joined the University of Alberta as a professor at the Faculté Saint-Jean, where she served as Dean from 1995 to 2003. She has numerous publications in the field of immersion education, minority linguistic rights and teacher education. When she was called to serve in the Canadian Senate, she was acting Vice-President (External Relations) at the University of Alberta.
In recognition of her leadership and community involvement, she received many honours, which include: l’Ordre des Francophones d’Amérique (2011), l’Ordre de la Pléiade (2005), the Alberta Centennial Medal (2005), l’Ordre du Conseil de la vie Française en Amérique (2003), the Edmonton ITV Women of Vision Award (2000), and the Prix Maurice Lavallée award in recognition of exceptional contribution to Francophone education in Alberta (1990 and 1997).
Dr. Tardif has been a member of the Senate of Canada since March 24, 2005. She served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from January 2007 to September 2013. Currently, she is Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.
Since November 2009, Senator Tardif chairs the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association. She is also the President of the Board of Governors of the Franco-Albertan Foundation, Honourary President of the Tolerance Caravan of Alberta, and sits on the Board of Little Warriors.
With her husband Denis, she has three children and six grandchildren.