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Lucien Bouchard

Born in St-Coeur-de-Marie, Quebec in 1938, Lucien Bouchard is a lawyer and politician. After studying at the Collège de Jonquière for a B.A. and Laval University for a law degree, Bouchard was called to the Quebec bar in 1964. He practised law in Chicoutimi from 1964 to 1985, while also serving as chairman of the arbitration tribunals in Quebec’s education sector (1970–1976) and as chief counsel for the Cliche Commission inquiry on the construction industry (1974–1975), and co-authoring the Martin-Bouchard Report (1977–1978) on the reform of negotiation procedures for public sector employees. Appointed Canada’s ambassador to France from 1985 to 1988, Bouchard entered federal politics in 1988 as a Member of Parliament and Brian Mulroney’s Secretary of State. Outraged by opposition to the Meech Lake Accord, which proposed constitutional recognition of Quebec as a distinct society, Bouchard left the Conservatives in 1990 to form the separatist Bloc Québécois. Following the 1995 referendum, Bouchard left Ottawa in 1996 to succeed Jacques Parizeau as leader of the Parti Québécois and Premier of Quebec. As Premier, Bouchard focused on the economy instead of sovereignty, cutting spending on social programs and health care, triggering strikes and protests in the affected sectors. Despite the protests, Bouchard remained in office, working with premiers Harris and Klein to obtain more health care funding from the federal government, until he resigned in 2001.

Photo:  The prognosis? First, will this be cash or medicare?
The prognosis? First, will this be cash or medicare?

Aislin (Terry Mosher) drew this cartoon when Premier Lucien Bouchard was making cuts to health care in Quebec as a result of declining federal contributions.
McCord Museum, Montréal, M999.65.103

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010