Denise Batters is an experienced lawyer and mental health advocate. A life-long resident of Saskatchewan, she holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan.
Ms. Batters was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1995, and was in private practice in Saskatchewan until 2007. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008. From November 2007 until June 2012, she was the Chief of Staff to Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice. From June 2012 until her appointment to the Senate, Ms. Batters was the Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan.
She has been an active member of the business community through directorships and involvement in the Regina Women’s Network and the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Batters is a strong supporter of mental health and suicide prevention. She advocated for a national suicide prevention strategy, appearing before the House of Commons Health Committee in 2012.
Since 2010, Ms. Batters has organized charity golf tournaments that have raised a total of $159,000 in honour of her late husband, former Member of Parliament Dave Batters, who fought anxiety and depression, and died by suicide in 2009. The funds raised are used to produce and broadcast a television commercial focusing on awareness about depression and suicide. (This commercial can be seen by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN1iPXNcq1U.)
Ms. Batters has spoken to many large audiences and given numerous media interviews, both locally and nationally, encouraging Canadians to raise awareness and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. Her continuing efforts were most recently recognized when the national organization, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, awarded her their 2015 Champion of Mental Health – in the Parliamentarian category.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Ms. Batters to the Senate of Canada on January 25, 2013.
Currently, Senator Batters is a member of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, and she has been a member of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee, the Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament committee, and the Subcommittee on Senate Communications since 2013. The Subcommittee produced a functional review report in March 2015 in order to modernize the Senate’s Communications department. Senator Batters was a member of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations starting in 2013, including serving as the Joint Chair of this Committee from fall 2014 until the 2015 election. She has also sponsored three government bills in the Senate which have now become law, including 2014’s Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (the federal government’s prostitution law).
Senator Batters resides in Regina, Saskatchewan.