Hec Clouthier

Hector Daniel Clouthier (born October 18, 1949) is a former Federal Member of Parliament for the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke in Ontario, Canada. He is known for wearing a fedora and his election slogan, "Give 'em Hec".

Hector Clouthier
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
In office
June 2, 1997 – November 27, 2000
Preceded byLen Hopkins
Succeeded byCheryl Gallant
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
In office
September 1, 2000 – December 21, 2000
LeaderJean Chrétien
Preceded byRobert Bertrand
Succeeded byJohn O'Reilly
Personal details
Born (1949-10-18) October 18, 1949 (age 71)
Pembroke, Ontario
Political partyLiberal
Other political
Independent 1993–1997, 2011–2015
Alma materLoyola College

Early lifeEdit

Prior to being elected, Clouthier was Vice-President of Hec Clouthier and Sons Inc., a well-known lumbering firm in the Upper Ottawa Valley. Clouthier served as a community volunteer, as Campaign Chair for the United Way Upper Ottawa Valley, Chair of the Ottawa Valley Lumber Association, President of the Pembroke and Area Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Quality Assurance, Risk Management, and French language services for the Pembroke Regional Hospital, and as Chair of Personnel for St. Joseph's Non Profit Housing.

Taught by Jesuits at Loyola College in Montreal, Clouthier holds certificates in Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Windsor.

Federal politicsEdit

He sought the Liberal nomination in Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke in 1988, challenging the Liberal incumbent Len Hopkins. More than 3,500 people voted in the nomination election, with Hopkins winning by a narrow margin. Clouthier announced he would once again seek the nomination in 1993, but his candidacy was denied by then-party leader Jean Chrétien who protected Hopkins, who had held the seat for twenty five years. Clouthier ran as an independent candidate in the 1993 federal election, getting over 10,000 votes and finishing second to Hopkins.

In 1997, Hopkins announced he would not be a candidate in the next federal election. There was a spirited battle for the Liberal nomination and over 4,000 memberships were sold. At the party's local convention, Clouthier defeated three other candidates to win the nomination. He subsequently won the general election and became MP for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke. He was elected by his fellow Liberal MPs as Chair of Eastern Ontario caucus, and was named by the Prime Minister as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Defence in 2000.

In the 2000 election he was defeated by Canadian Alliance candidate Cheryl Gallant, largely due to his controversial endorsement of gun control, which had become highly unpopular in the region. After the election, he was asked by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to be a Special Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office. He served in the PMO until Paul Martin took over as Prime Minister.

Following a long absence from federal politics, Clouthier ran as an independent candidate in the 2011 federal election in his former riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. Clouthier placed second to incumbent Gallant. His tally of almost 10,000 votes was the most earned by any independent candidate in Ontario.

In the 2015 federal election, Clouthier again stood as an independent. Following a nationwide surge for the Liberals, Clouthier's vote total fell, and he finished third behind Gallant and the Liberal candidate but Clouthier once again received the most votes of any independent in Ontario.

Personal lifeEdit

Clouthier comes from a large family with five sisters and four brothers as siblings. He and his spouse Debbie were married in 1975 and they have three sons and two grandsons .

In fall 2002, Clouthier met U.S. President George W. Bush in Detroit at a border conference. The American President was "smitten" by Clouthier's fedora and asked for one.[1] Clouthier had a fedora made for the President and sent it to the White House.

Following his time in office, Clouthier served as Executive Director of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) from 2007 to 2010. Horse racing in Ontario is a multibillion-dollar industry. An avid horse racer, Clouthier holds a professional harness horse driver's licence. Clouthier resigned as the Executive Director of OHRIA prior to contesting the 2011 federal election.

Clouthier has a passion for long-distance running, having completed 40 marathons, including 6 runs of the Boston Marathon. In 2020 he ran the Boston Marathon at age 70.

In 2017, Clouthier released a book he authored about his life titled "Give 'Em Hec!" and in 2019 he authored another book, this one about the life of his father, Hector Clouthier Sr. This book is called "Mr. Lumberjack" .

In 2019 Marianhill , a Senior Citizen's complex in Pembroke , Ontario asked Mr. Clouthier to be their Campaign Chair for a $ 24.6 million Redevelopment Project called " Building Care " . He willingly accepted and is currently raising funds for the expansion .

Membership in Algonquin NationEdit

Clouthier is a member of the Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake First Nation according to the "Algonquin Nation Standardized Identification Criteria" of the Algonquin Nation Tribal Council.


  1. ^ Globe and Mail, November 30, 2002

External linksEdit