QUEBEC ACTIVIST NAMED “HERO OF THE YEAR”
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu’s 27-year-old daughter, Julie, was raped and murdered in Sherbrooke in 2002. In 2005, his youngest daughter Isabelle was killed in a car accident. Rather than let these tragedies destroy him, Boisvenu has used the experience to become a successful advocate for the families of murder victims. As a result of his tireless work, Boisvenu was nominated by 235,000 readers of Sélection magazine, the french version of Reader’s Digest Canada, and was designated “Hero of 2006.”
Boisvenu is responsible for founding L’Association des Familles de Personnes Assassinées ou Disparues (AFPAD), a non-profit organization that advocates for and provides support to families of missing or murdered children. AFPAD has lobbied the Quebec government regarding the treatment of victims, and has successfully brought about changes, such as the increase in aid for victims’ families from $600 to $3,000.
Boisvenu retired in order to devote more time to AFPAD. The Sherbrooke-based association has recently opened an office in Montreal, and continues to operate based on donations and fundraising.
"It’s wonderful news for me and the families involved with the Association," Boisvenu said. Last year he was given the Prix de la Justice du Quebec.