Québec Premier Philippe Couillard was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Premier Jacques Parizeau and offers his sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
“Quebecers have received sad news this morning. Today we have lost a great builder and a man devoted to Québec. Former Premier Parizeau quickly achieved distinction through his determination, intelligence and outspokenness, personality traits that he maintained until the end. An economist by training, he left no one untouched. It is to this talented, proud and passionate man of conviction that we owe the mastery of our economy. Today is a day of deep mourning for Québec,” the Premier said.
Premier Couillard spoke to Lisette Lapointe, former Premier Jacques Parizeau’s spouse, to offer his condolences to her, her family and loved ones.
A life devoted to the Québec State
Mr. Parizeau was born in Montréal in 1930 and was one of the most influential Québec government advisors during the 1960s. He played a key role during the Quiet Revolution, especially in the establishment of the Québec Pension Plan. He also served as an economic advisor to successive premiers between 1961 and 1969 and was instrumental in the creation of the Société générale de financement and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
He was president of the executive committee of the Parti Québécois from 1970 to 1973. Elected in the Assomption riding during the November 1976 election, he was appointed Minister of Finance, a position that he held for eight years. It was during this period that he developed tools such as the Stock Savings Plan and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ that allowed Quebecers to participate more extensively in their economic development.
He resigned in 1984 and returned to teach at HEC Montréal, where had already lectured from 1955 to 1976.
In 1988, he returned to politics, first as leader of the Parti Québécois, then, starting in September 1994, as the 26th Premier of Québec. While Premier, he oversaw the October 30, 1995 referendum and also the sovereignty project, which he unfailingly defended after joining the Parti Québécois in 1969. On January 29, 1996, he resigned as leader of the Parti Québécois and Premier of Québec.
Jacques Parizeau resigned, but he did withdraw from the public eye for all that. He regularly intervened as a speaker in educational institutions or at political events, or simply in the media. In 2008 he was appointed a grand officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
“Québec will always regard former Premier Jacques Parizeau, an economist, senior civil servant, journalist, lecturer and politician, as one of its great builders,” Premier Couillard concluded.