- 2.1 The plebiscite to nationalization
- 2.2 The quiet revolution of the " Belle Province "
- 2.3 The last years
Career as a lawyer
Jean Lesage was the son of Cécile Côté and Xaveri Lesage, a teacher and officials in Montreal. Jean Lesage attended the Saint -Louis -de- Gonzague School in Quebec, the Séminaire de Québec and the Université Laval, where he graduated with a degree in law. On 10 July 1934 he was admitted to the Bar of the Province of Québec.
He practiced his profession as a lawyer with Paul Lesage (1934 ), and later with Charles Gavan Power, Valmore Bienvenue, Paul Lesage and Jean Turgeon. Lesage married the opera singer Corinne Lagarde. From 1939 to 1944 he was a prosecutor.
Career as a politician
During the 1945 elections Lesage was elected as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada to the deputies of the district of Montmagny - L'Islet. In 1949 he was re-elected. Of 24 January 1951 to 31 December 1952 he was parliamentary deputy secretary of state for external affairs, then to June 13, 1953 parliamentary deputy of the Minister of Finance. With his renewed re-election Lesage was on September 17, Minister for Resources and Economic Development in the cabinet of Saint- Laurent. From December 16th 1953 to June 21, 1957 Lesage was Minister of Northern Canada and Natural Resources. With his re-election in 1957 and 1958, Lesage survived the progressivist - Conservative Diefenbaker government, but resigned with his election as party leader on 31 May 1958.
The government Lesage
Jean Lesage won the elections of 1960 and was on July 5, 1960 to June 16, 1966 Prime Minister, President of the Executive Council and Minister of Finance, from 28 March 1961, Minister of federal - provincial affairs. From 30 May to 8 August 1963 he was Minister of Revenue.
The plebiscite to nationalization
The government program of Lesage went beyond simple economic reforms beyond. The traditionally conservative Quebec had a relative political and economic autonomy. Lesage wanted to change the institutions and ways of thinking of the province; the nationalization of their influential hydropower plant operators should be a " detonator ".
Lesage called on September 19, 1962 from general elections to the nationalization of the electricity works. On the evening of November 11 was a dispute - the first in Canadian history - between Lesage and the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Johnson, televised.
The quiet revolution of the " Belle Province "
The government Lesage benefited from the rapid economic growth and created the province of Quebec with the help of several major projects to complete. Natural resources were nationalized; 1964 and 1965, the state societies Sidérurgie du Québec and the Société québécoise d' exploration minière were founded. Lesage, who was concerned about the independence and competence of the State, made a profound educational reform that culminated in the establishment of the Ministry of Education in 1964. In addition, was founded in 1961 in Quebec City, a health insurance company. Lesage founded the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Revenue and federal - provincial affairs. In addition, foreign missions have been established for Quebec ( 1961 in Paris and 1963 in London).
With the elections of 1966, however, the Liberals less inclined representatives of the rural districts compared to districts gained a large majority - although the Liberal Party got the most votes. The Union Nationale was the strongest force. After the end of its executive mandate Lesage in 1966 deputy of the reign of Louis - Hébert, and was until 1970 head of the opposition. Already on August 28, 1969 Lesage had announced his resignation as party leader.
The last years
After April 1970 Lesage was member of a commission that was appointed by the Government of Québec with the drafting of legislation. From 1965 to 1970 Lesage was Honorary Colonel of the 6th Regiment of Artillery; since he was a director of several companies such as Lever Brothers Ltd.. , Montreal Trust Co., Mondev Corporation Ltd.. , Campbell Chibougamau Mines Ltd.. and J. J. Baker Ltd.. In 1971 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Canadian Reynolds Metals Co. In June 1972, he was appointed President of the Board of Nordiques de Québec.
Jean Lesage died on December 12, 1980 in Quebec City.