Jean-Jacques Bertrand (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ ʒɑk bɛʁtʁɑ̃]; June 20, 1916 – February 22, 1973) was the 21st premier of Quebec, from October 2, 1968, to May 12, 1970. He led the Union Nationale party.
|21st Premier of Quebec|
October 2, 1968 – May 12, 1970
|Lieutenant Governor||Hugues Lapointe|
|Preceded by||Daniel Johnson Sr.|
|Succeeded by||Robert Bourassa|
|Deputy Premier of Quebec|
|Premier||Daniel Johnson Sr.|
|Preceded by||Paul Gérin-Lajoie|
|Succeeded by||Jean-Guy Cardinal (1968)|
|MNA for Missisquoi|
July 28, 1948 – February 22, 1973
|Preceded by||Henri Gosselin|
|Succeeded by||Glendon Pettes Brown|
|Born||June 20, 1916|
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada
|Died||February 22, 1973 (aged 56)|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Political party||Union Nationale|
Member of the legislatureEdit
Member of the CabinetEdit
In 1966, the Union Nationale was put back in office and Premier Daniel Johnson, Sr. appointed Bertrand to his Cabinet. Bertrand served both as Education Minister until 1967 and Minister of Justice until Johnson's sudden death from a heart attack in 1968. In addition to those assignments, Bertrand was also Johnson's Deputy Premier.
Premier of QuebecEdit
Bertrand was chosen interim Party Leader until a leadership convention could be held and therefore became Premier of Quebec.
His victory (58% of the delegates) over colleague Jean-Guy Cardinal (41%), Minister of Education and newly elected MLA for the district of Bagot, at the Leadership Convention of 1969, caused a deep division among party insiders. While Johnson had been more accommodating towards the more nationalist elements of the party, Bertrand clearly positioned himself as a federalist. Cardinal was considered the nationalist candidate in the race. His defeat prompted a number of supporters to leave the Union Nationale and join the Parti Québécois.
The Union Nationale was also weakened by the passage of a controversial language legislation in 1969, known as Bill 63. Meant to resolve a conflict that plagued the public school board of Saint-Léonard, the bill confirmed the status quo on the language of instruction in the public schools (parents can choose English or French)  and angered Quebec nationalists. Two Union Nationale MLAs, Jérôme Proulx and Antonio Flamand crossed the floor and sat as Independents, along with Parti Québécois Leader René Lévesque and Liberal dissident Yves Michaud to protest against the new law.
The less controversial accomplishments of the Bertrand administration include the abolition of the Legislative Council of Quebec, the provincial equivalent of the Canadian Senate. Since then, the Legislative Assembly of Quebec is known as the National Assembly of Quebec.
Leader of the Official OppositionEdit
The Union Nationale lost the 1970 election to Robert Bourassa's Liberals. While the party managed to obtain the status of Official Opposition, it finished third in the popular vote behind the PQ. The UN never significantly recovered from that defeat and no longer exists as a political party.
A year later, Bertrand resigned as Leader of the Union Nationale. In 1971, he received an honorary doctorate from Sir George Williams University, which later became Concordia University. He died a few months before the 1973 election.
His son, Jean-François Bertrand, was the Member of the National Assembly for the district of Vanier from 1976 to 1985 and a Cabinet Member of René Lévesque's Parti Québécois government. Bertrand's widow Gabrielle served as Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for the district of Brome—Missisquoi from 1984 to 1993.