First elected in a 1995 by-election, Denis Paradis served in many different roles in the previous Liberal government.
As a government MP between 1995 and 2006 he was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, the Minister for La Francophonie and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He had previously been Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and for La Francophonie and the Minister of State for Financial Institutions.
In 1997 Paradis acted as co-chair of a special committee that recommended Quebec schools be divided on linguistic rather than denominational lines. In 2003 Paradis hosted representatives from France, the US and the Organization of American States at an event called the Ottawa Initiative on Haiti. Newspaper reports of the event months later indicated that delegates at this event decided that the Haitian President at the time, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, should be replaced by a UN Trusteeship. Paradis has denied this.
Between his loss in 2006 and his reelection in 2015, Paradis worked as counsel for Dunton Rainville, a Montreal law firm. He also worked as a lawyer before his first election and served as President of the Association des avocats du Québec and Bâtonnier of the Barreau du Québec. In 2005 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Pléiade and was awarded the honorary distinction of Lawyer Emeritus by the Quebec Bar. He had previously been president of the Quebec Bar Association.
He graduated with his Bachelor’s of Civil Law from the University of Ottawa and also has a Bachelor of Commerce from that institution. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1976. He was the co-author of Règles de procédure devant les tribunaux administratifs, a book published in 1985.
Paradis also owns a winery, Domaine du Ridge, in St-Armand. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Conférence Internationale des Barreaux. Paradis’ brother, Pierre, is a member of the Quebec National Assembly and is a minister in the current Liberal government.