Open main menu

The First Legislature of Quebec came into existence in 1867 as part of the creation of the Canadian province of Quebec and Canada.

Legislature of Quebec

Législature du Québec
First Legislature, 1867 - 1871
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
HousesLegislative Council
Legislative Assembly
Term limits
Five years
History
FoundedJuly 1, 1867 (1867-07-01)
Succeeded bySecond Legislature of Quebec, 1871-1875
Leadership
Structure
SeatsLegislative Council: 24
Legislative Assembly: 65
Legislative Council political groups
Conservatives 21
Liberals 3
Legislative Assembly political groups
Conservatives 51
Liberals 12
Independent 1
Vacant 1
Elections
Legislative Council voting system
Life appointments
Legislative Assembly voting system
Single member constituencies; First-past-the-post
Constitution
British North America Act, 1867

The Legislature had two chambers: the elected lower house, the Legislative Assembly, and the appointed upper house, the Legislative Council. The first general election for the Legislative Assembly was held in August and September, 1867, and returned a majority for the Quebec Conservative Party led by Premier Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau. The Liberal Party of Quebec formed the Official Opposition.

The Chauveau government then appointed the first members to the Legislative Council in November, 1867, who were sworn into their positions in December, 1867. The Conservatives had a strong majority in the Legislative Council.

The first session of the Legislature was called on December 27, 1867. The Legislature had four annual sessions, until its dissolution on May 27, 1871, triggering the second general election.

Contents

Creation of the LegislatureEdit

The province of Quebec was created on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act, 1867 came into force, splitting the old Province of Canada into the new provinces of Quebec (formerly Lower Canada) and Ontario (formerly Upper Canada).[1] That Act also created the Legislature of Quebec, composed of the Lieutenant Governor, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.[2]

The Act provided that the Lieutenant Governor was to be appointed by the Governor General of Canada for a term of five years, subject to dismissal for cause.[3] The Legislative Assembly was to consist of sixty-five members, elected in sixty-five single-member constituencies.[4] The Legislative Council was to consist of twenty-four members, appointed for life.[5] Each Legislative Councillor was appointed to represent one of the twenty-four divisions which had formerly been used in the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada.[6]

The first Governor General of Canada, Viscount Monck, appointed Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau, a former premier of the Province of Canada, as the first Lieutenant Governor, effective July 1, 1867.[7] Belleau in turn appointed Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau as premier on July 15, 1867.[8] Chauveau had formerly been active in politics, as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada and also in the Cabinet, but he had been out of electoral politics since 1855.[9] He was appointed as a compromise candidate to begin the government of the new province.[10]

The first general election for the Legislative Assembly was held in August and September of 1867.[11] Chauveau and the Conservatives won a strong majority of fifty-one seats in the sixty-five seat Assembly. The Chaveau government then appointed the twenty-four members of the Legislative Council. Twenty-one of the appointed members supported the Conservative party.

Legislative AssemblyEdit

Party standings on opening of LegislatureEdit

The 1867 elections returned a majority in the Legislative Assembly for the Conservative Party, led by Premier Chauveau.[12]

1867 Election Results
Party Members
  Conservatives 51
  Liberals 12
  Independent 1
Vacant (1)
Total 65
Government Majority 38

Members of the Legislative AssemblyEdit

The following candidates were elected to the Legislative Assembly in the 1867 election.[13]. The Premier of Quebec is indicated by Bold italics. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is indicated by small caps. Cabinet Ministers are indicated by Italics.

Name Party Riding
     Sydney Robert Bellingham Conservative Argenteuil
     Pierre-Samuel Gendron Conservative Bagot
  Christian Henry Pozer Liberal Beauce
     Célestin Bergevin Conservative Beauharnois
  Onésime Pelletier Liberal Bellechasse
     Louis-Joseph Moll Conservative Berthier
  Clarence Hamilton Liberal Bonaventure
     Christopher Dunkin Conservative Brome
     Jean-Baptiste Jodoin Conservative Chambly
     John Jones Ross[note 1] Conservative Champlain
     Léon-Charles Clément Conservative Charlevoix
  Édouard Laberge Liberal Châteauguay
     Pierre-Alexis Tremblay Independent Chicoutimi et Saguenay
     James Ross Conservative Compton
     Gédéon Ouimet Conservative Deux-Montagnes
     Hector-Louis Langevin Conservative Dorchester
  Edward John Hemming Liberal Drummond et Arthabaska
     Pierre-Étienne Fortin Conservative Gaspé
     Louis Beaubien Conservative Hochelaga
     Julius Scriver[note 2] Conservative Huntingdon
  Louis Molleur Liberal Iberville
     Pamphile-Gaspard Verreault Conservative Islet
     Narcisse Lecavalier Conservative Jacques Cartier
     Vincent-Paul Lavallée Conservative Joliette
Vacant (until 1869)[16] Kamouraska
     Césaire Thérien Conservative Laprairie
     Étienne Mathieu Conservative L'Assomption
     Joseph-Hyacinthe Bellerose Conservative Laval
     Joseph-Godric Blanchet Conservative Lévis
  Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière Liberal Lotbinière
     Alexis Lesieur Desaulniers Conservative Maskinongé
     George Irvine Conservative Mégantic
     Josiah Sandford Brigham Conservative Missisquoi
     Firmin Dugas Conservative Montcalm
  Louis-Henri Blais Liberal Montmagny
     Joseph-Édouard Cauchon Conservative Montmorency
     Edward Brock Carter Conservative Montréal Centre
     George-Étienne Cartier Conservative Montréal Est
     Alexander Walker Ogilvie Conservative Montreal Ouest
  Pierre Benoit[note 3] Liberal Napierville
     Joseph Gaudet Conservative Nicolet
     Levi Ruggles Church Conservative Ottawa
     John Poupore Conservative Pontiac
     Praxède Larue Conservative Portneuf
     Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau Conservative Québec-Comté
     Georges-Honoré Simard Conservative Québec-Centre
     Jacques-Philippe Rhéaume Conservative Québec-Est
     John Hearn Conservative Québec-Ouest
     Joseph Beaudreau[note 4] Conservative Richelieu
     Jacques Picard Conservative Richmond et Wolfe
     Joseph Garon Conservative Rimouski
  Victor Robert Liberal Rouville
  Pierre Bachand Liberal St. Hyacinthe
  Félix-Gabriel Marchand Liberal St. Jean
     Abraham Lesieur Desaulniers Conservative St. Maurice
     Michel-Adrien Bessette Conservateur Shefford
     Joseph Gibb Robertson[note 5] Conservative Sherbrooke
     Dominique-Amable Coutlée Conservative Soulanges
     Thomas Locke Conservative Stanstead
     Élie Mailloux Conservative Témiscouata
     Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau Conservative Terrebonne
     Louis-Charles Boucher de Niverville[note 6] Conservative Trois-Rivières
     Antoine-Chartier de Lotbinière Harwood Conservative Vaudreuil
     André-Boniface Craig Conservative Verchères
  Louis-Adélard Sénécal Liberal Yamaska

Reasons for VacanciesEdit

  1. ^ Seat became vacant on appointment to the Legislative Council, November 2, 1867[14]
  2. ^ Resigned on standing for election to the House of Commons, October 6, 1869[15]
  3. ^ Died in office, August 26, 1870.[17]
  4. ^ Died in office, October 5, 1869[18]
  5. ^ Accepted a Cabinet position, an office of profit, triggering by-election.[19]
  6. ^ Resigned on appointment as sheriff for district of Trois-Rivières, September 30, 1868.[20]

By-electionsEdit

There were eight by-elections during the term of the First Legislature.[21][22]

By-elections, 1867-1870
Name Party Riding Reason for Vacancy By-election Date
  Jean-Charles Chapais Conservative Champlain Incumbent appointed to Legislative Council December 16, 1867
  Sévère Dumoulin[note 1] Conservative Trois-Rivières Incumbent appointed sheriff of Trois-Rivières October 16, 1868
  Charles-François Roy Conservative Kamouraska Election deferred to 1869 due to riots[16] February 11, 1869
  Charles-Borromée Genest Conservative Trois-Rivières Incumbent appointed sheriff of Trois-Rivières October 19, 1869
  Pierre Gélinas Conservative Richelieu Death of incumbent October 26, 1869
  Joseph Gibb Robertson Conservative Sherbrooke Accepted a Cabinet position, an office of profit, triggering by-election; re-elected. November 5, 1869
  William Cantwell Conservative Huntingdon Incumbent elected to House of Commons November 6, 1869
  Laurent-David Lafontaine Liberal Napierville Death of incumbent October 11, 1870

Reason for VacancyEdit

  1. ^ Resigned on being appointed sheriff for the district of Trois-Rivières, September 16, 1869.[23]

Legislative CouncilEdit

Following the election, the Chauveau government appointed twenty-four individuals to the Legislative Council. The result was a Council with a strong Conservative majority.

Party standings on opening of LegislatureEdit

Standings
Party Members
  Conservatives 21
  Liberals 3
Total: 24
Government Majority: 18

Members during the First LegislatureEdit

The Speaker of the Legislative Council is indicated by small caps. Cabinet members are indicated by italics.

Members 1867-1871
Legislative Council Divisions Member Party Term Start Term End
Alma Beaudry, Jean-Louis Conservative November 2, 1867 June 25, 1886
Bedford Wood, Thomas Conservative November 2, 1867 November 13, 1898
De la Durantaye Beaubien, Joseph-Octave Conservative November 2, 1867 November 7, 1877
De la Vallière Proulx, Jean-Baptiste-Georges Liberal November 2, 1867 January 27, 1884
De Lanaudière Dostaler, Pierre-Eustache Conservative November 2, 1867 January 4, 1884
De Lorimier Rodier, Charles-Séraphin Conservative November 2, 1867 February 3, 1876
De Salaberry Starnes, Henry Liberal November 2, 1867 March 3, 1896
Grandville Dionne, Élisée Conservative November 2, 1867 August 22, 1892
Gulf Le Boutillier, John Conservative November 2, 1867 July 31, 1872
Inkerman Bryson, George (Sr.) Conservative November 2, 1867 January 13, 1900
Kennebec Thibaudeau, Isidore Liberal November 2, 1867 January 21, 1874
La Salle Panet, Louis Conservative November 2, 1867 May 15, 1884
Lauzon Chaussegros de Léry, Alexandre-René Conservative November 2, 1867 December 19, 1880
Mille-Isles Lemaire, Félix-Hyacinthe Conservative November 2, 1867 December 17, 1879
Montarville Boucher de Boucherville, Charles-Eugène Conservative November 2, 1867 September 10, 1915
Repentigny Archambeault, Louis Conservative November 2, 1867 June 6, 1888
Rigaud Prud'homme, Eustache Conservative November 2, 1867 June 6, 1888
Rougemont Fraser de Berry, John Conservative November 2, 1867 November 15, 1876
Saurel Armstrong, David Morrison Conservative November 2, 1867 April 14, 1873
Shawinigan Ross, John Jones Conservative November 2, 1867 May 4, 1901
Stadacona McGreevy, Thomas Conservative November 2, 1867 February 2, 1874
The Laurentides Gingras, Jean-Élie Conservative November 2, 1867 December 10, 1887
Victoria Ferrier, James Conservative November 2, 1867 May 30, 1888
Wellington Hale, Edward Conservative November 2, 1867 April 26, 1875

Qualifications of the Legislative CouncillorsEdit

Sixteen of the individuals appointed had previously been involved in the government of the Province of Canada, sitting in either the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council: Beaudry, Beaubien, Proulx, Dostaler, Le Boutillier, Bryson, Thibaudeau, Panet, Boucher de Boucherville, Archambeault, Prud'homme, Armstrong, Ross, Gingras, Ferrier and Hale.

Nine of the individuals had been involved in municipal politics, including former mayors of Montreal: Beaudry, Wood, Rodier, Starnes, Bryson, Lemaire, Archambeault, McGreevy, and Ferrier.

Five of the individuals were involved in business or their seigneuries: Dionne, Thibaudeau, Chaussegros de Léry, Fraser de Berry and McGreevy.

First Quebec Ministry: Chauveau Cabinet, 1867-1873Edit

The first Cabinet for Quebec consisted of Premier Chauveau and six other Cabinet ministers.[24] Chauveau and four of the ministers were Members of the Legislative Assembly, while two were Members of the Legislative Council.

Members of the Executive Council
Position Minister Term Start Term End
Premier and President of the Executive Council; also Public Education, Provincial Secretary and Registrar Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau 1867 1873
Agriculture and Public Works Louis Archambeault* 1867 1873
Attorney General Gédéon Ouimet 1867 1873
Crown lands Joseph-Octave Beaubien 1867 1873
Solicitor General George Irvine 1867 1873
Speaker of the Legislative Council Charles-Eugène Boucher de Boucherville* 1867 1873
Treasurer Christopher Dunkin 1867 1869
Joseph Gibb Robertson 1869 1873
  • Members of the Legislative Council

Legislative sessionsEdit

The Legislature had four annual sessions:

  • First session: December 27, 1867 to February 24, 1868, with thirty-nine sitting days.
  • Second session: January 20, 1869 to April 5, 1869, with forty-eight sitting days.
  • Third session: November 23, 1869 to February 1, 1870, with thirty-eight sitting days.
  • Fourth and final session: November 3, 1870 to December 24, 1870, with thirty-eight sitting days.

The Legislature did not meet again prior to its dissolution on May 27, 1871.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ British North America Act, 1867 [now known as the Constitution Act, 1867], s. 6.
  2. ^ British North America Act, 1867, s. 71.
  3. ^ British North America Act, 1867, s. 58.
  4. ^ British North America Act, 1867, s. 80.
  5. ^ British North America Act, 1867, s. 72.
  6. ^ British North America Act, 1867, s. 22.
  7. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Lieutenants-gouverneurs depuis 1867.
  8. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Cabinet Chauveau (Conservateur).
  9. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau.
  10. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Chauveau, Pierre-Joseph-Olivier.
  11. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Les élections générales.
  12. ^ National Assembly of Quebec: La répartition des sièges aux élections générales.
  13. ^ National Assembly of Quebec: Les résultats électoraux depuis 1867.
  14. ^ Quebec National Assembly: John Jones Ross
  15. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Julius Scriver
  16. ^ a b Election delayed due to riots: Norman Ward, "Early Electioneering in Canada" (1951), 31:1 Dalhousie Review 65.
  17. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Pierre Benoit
  18. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Joseph Beaudreau
  19. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Joseph Gibb Robertson
  20. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Louis-Charles Boucher de Niverville
  21. ^ National Assembly of Quebec: Les élections partielles.
  22. ^ National Assembly of Quebec: Les résultats électoraux depuis 1867.
  23. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Sévère Dumoulin
  24. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Les titulaires de ministères depuis 1867: Cabinet Chauveau (Conservative), July 5, 1867 to February 27, 1873.
  25. ^ Quebec National Assembly: Les législatures et leurs sessions depuis 1867.