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Michel Létourneau (October 10, 1949 – October 1, 2019) was a Canadian politician in the province of Quebec. He served in the National Assembly of Quebec from 1994 to 2007 as a member of the Parti Québécois (PQ) and was a cabinet minister in the government of Bernard Landry.

Michel Létourneau
MNA for Ungava
In office
Preceded byChristian Claveau
Succeeded byLuc Ferland
Personal details
Born(1949-10-10)October 10, 1949
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedOctober 1, 2019(2019-10-01) (aged 69)
Political partyParti Québécois

Early life and careerEdit

Létourneau had a Bachelor's degree in recreology from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (1982) and a Master's degree in public administration from the École nationale d'administration publique (1990). He was service director for recreation, culture, and tourism in the municipality of Baie-James from 1979 to 1985; director general of the Lanaudière regional recreation council from 1985 to 1990; and director for the development society of Baie-James from 1990 to 1994. He also served as a municipal councillor in Matagami from 1981 to 1985.[1]


Létourneau was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec in the 1994 provincial election, winning as a Parti Québécois candidate in the vast northern riding of Ungava. The PQ won a majority government in this campaign, and Létourneau entered the legislature as a backbench supporter of Jacques Parizeau's administration. He served as parliamentary assistant to the premier from September 27, 1995, until Parizeau's resignation on January 29, 1996.

He held other parliamentary assistantships over the next three years before again serving as parliamentary assistant to the premier from January 28, 1999 to January 30, 2002. He was also regional secretary for the Nord-du-Québec region from 1996 to 1998. During this period, he worked to improve the often fractious relations between the Quebec government and Cree communities in northern Quebec.[2] He also took part in a government delegation to Slovenia in 1998, to study political and economic developments in that country.[3]

Létourneau was appointed to Bernard Landry's cabinet on January 30, 2002, as the junior Minister Responsible for the Development of Northern Quebec (Nord-du-Québec), with responsibility for Côte-Nord.[4] He received additional responsibility as the junior Minister of Aboriginal Affairs on February 13 of the same year.[5] He took part in a major deal between the Quebec government and the province's Inuit community in April 2002.[6] In the same year, he successfully lobbied to have an inukshuk constructed on the grounds of the National Assembly.[7]

Létourneau was re-elected in the 2003 general election as the PQ lost power to the Liberals. He served as an opposition member for the next four years and was his party's critic for natural resources.[8] He did not seek re-election in the 2007 election.

After politicsEdit

Létourneau moved to France in 2007, to pursue a doctorate at the Sorbonne in the geopolitics of northern development.[1] He died of AIDS on October 1, 2019, just prior to his 70th birthday.[9]

Electoral recordEdit

2003 Quebec general election: Ungava
Party Candidate Votes %
Parti Québécois Michel Létourneau 5,744 50.11
Liberal Donald Don Bubar 4,258 37.15
Action démocratique Gloria Trudeau 1,460 12.74
Total valid votes 11,462 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 192
Turnout 11,654 50.52
Electors on the lists 23,067
1998 Quebec general election: Ungava
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Parti Québécois Michel Létourneau 6,482 48.22 −5.97
Liberal Claude Eric Gagné 5,517 41.04 +1.04
Action démocratique Steve Paquette 1,443 10.74
Total valid votes 13,442 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 180
Turnout 13,622 61.93 +10.12
Electors on the lists 21,997
Source: Official Results, Government of Quebec
1994 Quebec general election: Ungava
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Parti Québécois Michel Létourneau 7,276 54.19
Liberal Victo Murray 5,371 40.00
Green Thomas DeMarco 407 3.03
Natural Law Marlène Charland 372 2.77
Total valid votes 13,426 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 296
Turnout 13,722 51.81
Electors on the lists 26,483


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Thompson, "Bouchard lauds benefits of Cree deals," Montreal Gazette, 14 June 1997, A14; Eileen Travers, "Crees fight for forests: Quebec withholds promised cash, but chiefs defiant," Montreal Gazette, 30 October 1999, A1.
  3. ^ Ervin B. Podgorsak, "Seeking answers in Slovenia," Montreal Gazette, 21 March 1998, B5.
  4. ^ Gilles Baril was the senior minister responsible for northern development until his sudden resignation from cabinet on February 13. He was replaced by Rémy Trudel. See Rita Legault, "Parti Quebecois cabinet table will now seat 37: More than half of PQ MNAs now have titles," Sherbrooke Record, 31 January 2002, p. 1; Rhéal Séguin, "Lobbyists targeted as minister quits PQ," Globe and Mail, 14 February 2002, A4.
  5. ^ He also worked in this portfolio with Rémy Trudel, who was the minister of state responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. See "Biography of Rémy Trudel". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec..
  6. ^ Kevin Dougherty, "Landry leaks Inuit-deal details," Montreal Gazette, 9 April 2002, A14.
  7. ^ Allison Hanes, "Inukshuk brings Inuit closer to seat of power: Premier Landry agrees to consider setting up a separate seat to represent Nunavik," Montreal Gazette, 25 October 2002, A15.
  8. ^ Kevin Dougherty, "Hydro's 6% rate increase called hidden tax grab," Montreal Gazette, 15 August 2003, A1.
  9. ^