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Michel Gauthier (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl ɡotje]; born February 18, 1950 in Quebec City, Quebec) is a Canadian politician, who served as leader of the Bloc Québécois from 1996 to 1997. As the party was the Official Opposition in the Parliament of Canada, Gauthier was also the Leader of the Opposition during this time.

Michel Gauthier
Michel Gauthier (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Opposition
In office
February 17, 1996 – March 14, 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byGilles Duceppe
Succeeded byGilles Duceppe
Leader of the Bloc Québécois
In office
February 17, 1996 – March 14, 1997
Preceded byGilles Duceppe (interim)
Succeeded byGilles Duceppe
Member of Parliament
for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
In office
January 17, 1994 – July 29, 2007
Preceded byBenoit Bouchard
Succeeded byDenis Lebel
Member of the Quebec National Assembly
for Roberval
In office
1981–1988
Preceded byRobert Lamontagne
Succeeded byGaston Blackburn
Personal details
Born (1950-02-18) February 18, 1950 (age 69)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Political partyConservative[1] (2018-present)
Other political
affiliations
Bloc Québécois (1993-2007)
Parti Québécois (1981-1988)
ResidenceRoberval, Quebec
Professionteacher, educational administrator, political advisor, broadcaster

BiographyEdit

Born in Quebec City, Gauthier was a school teacher from 1970 to 1975, educational advisor from 1976 to 1979, then director of education services from 1979 to 1981 at the Roberval school board.[2]

He then served as president of the Tourism Corporation of Chambord in 1975 and in 1976 an president of Chambord Chamber of Commerce in 1977 and 1978.[2]

Gauthier was first elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the Parti Québécois in 1981 for Roberval and was parliamentary secretary to the finance minister from 1983 to 1985. He was re-elected to the legislature in 1985 and served until 1988 when he resigned his seat to become director-general of the Roberval school board.[2]

He won a seat in the House of Commons of Canada as a candidate the Bloc Québécois in 1993.

Gauthier was not one of the Bloc's better-known Members of Parliament (MPs), but after Lucien Bouchard resigned to become Premier of Quebec, Gauthier won the Bloc Québécois leadership election of 1996, defeating Francine Lalonde. The vote was conducted among members of the party's directorate rather than by all members of the party, and this hurt Gauthier's legitimacy.

His lack of profile resulted in some opposition parties mocking Gauthier as being the "faceless leader" of the opposition, as he was largely a political unknown in most of Canada and even in Quebec. Gauthier's leadership was unpopular with the caucus due to alleged conservative views and lack of charisma, and facing a revolt by his MPs, Gauthier resigned in 1997. He was succeeded by Gilles Duceppe.

As a result of health issues after surgery, he announced in March 2007 that he would not run in the next federal election. He served as BQ House Leader from 1997-2007. Gauthier also served as the chief campaign organizer.

He formally resigned on July 29, 2007, and became the host of Gauthier, a television news show, which began airing on TQS in September 2007.

On May 12, 2018, Gauthier joined the Conservative Party of Canada after not having been a member of any political party for 11 years.[3] He has also said he is no longer a sovereigntist though he remained a Quebec nationalist.[3]

External linksEdit

  • Michel Gauthier – Parliament of Canada biography
  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.

ReferencesEdit