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Gérard D. Levesque

Gérard D.[1] Levesque[2] (May 2, 1926 – November 17, 1993) was a longtime Quebec politician and Cabinet minister, who twice served as Acting Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party.

Levesque was first elected to what is now called the Quebec National Assembly in the riding of Bonaventure in 1956 and sat in the legislature continuously until the end of his life. Under Premier Jean Lesage he served as minister of housing and fisheries and then as minister for trade. In the first cabinet of Robert Bourassa, who came to power in 1970, he served in various capacities including minister of trade, Minister of Justice and deputy premier.

After the defeat of the Bourassa government in 1976, Levesque served as Leader of the opposition until 1979, while leaders Robert Bourassa and then Claude Ryan were without parliamentary seats. Levesque was noted for his fierce opposition to what was introduced as Bill 1, the Charter of the French Language; His procedural wrangling meant it had to be eventually reintroduced as Bill 101. Levesque was also acting leader of the party between Bourassa's resignation and the election of Ryan. Levesque again served as Leader of the Opposition and acting leader of the party from August 1982 to September 1983 after the resignation of Ryan and until the return of Bourassa for his second stint as party leader.

In the second Bourassa government, elected in 1985, Levesque served as minister of finance, a position he held until his death in 1993 at the age of 67.


  • In popular culture 1
  • Bibliography 2
  • External links 3
  • References 4

In popular culture

The name of the fictional character Gérard D. Laflaque, protagonist of the satirical TV program Et Dieu créa... Laflaque, is a variation of his name.


Lambert, Serge (1992). Gérard D. Levesque, le maître politique. Sainte-Foy: GID Design.

National Assembly of Quebec
Preceded by
Henri Jolicoeur (Union Nationale)
MNA, District of Bonaventure
Succeeded by
Marcel Landry (PQ)
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacques-Yvan Morin
Leader of the Opposition in Quebec
Succeeded by
Claude Ryan
Preceded by
Claude Ryan
Leader of the Opposition in Quebec
Succeeded by
Robert Bourassa
Preceded by
Michel Gratton (Liberal)
Official Opposition House Leader
Succeeded by
Guy Chevrette (PQ)
Preceded by
Bernard Landry
Minister of Finance (Quebec)
Succeeded by
Monique Gagnon-Tremblay
Title last held by
Pierre Laporte
Deputy Premier of Quebec
Succeeded by
Jacques-Yvan Morin
  1. ^ He was universally known as "Gérard D." during his lifetime and contemporary newspaper articles did not omit the middle initial. Various other attestations include:
    • A section of Route 132 in Bonaventure, New Carlisle and Paspébiac runs along "boulevard Gérard-D.-Levesque" (see, e.g., Google Maps)
    • Note also a direct quote from one of his former constituents: «Moi, j'ai fait partie de l'organisation de Gérard D. pendant quinze ans alors on respecte la tradition», a dit Adéodat Gignac. ("Élection partielle dans Bonaventure: Les Gaspésiens aux urnes". TVA Nouvelles. 4 December 2011. )
    • The minutes of Quebec cabinet meetings (mémoires des déliberations du Conseil exécutif) are publicly released after a 25-year delay. In the printed minutes for meetings after the Liberals returned to power in December 1985, his is consistently the only name in the list of attendees that has a middle initial given: e.g., the cabinet meeting on 4 June 1986 (PDF file) or others.
  2. ^ His last name is sometimes given with the more common spelling for this surname, Lévesque (with acute accent), but authoritative sources omit the accent. Many other persons with this last name spell it with an accent, for instance René Lévesque. However, various sources attest to the lack of accent on his last name, including:
    • "Biography of Gérard D. Levesque". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French).  )
    • the title of the book Gérard D. Levesque, le maître politique by his biographer Serge Lambert
    • the Google Maps spelling of the road named for him in his electoral district, cited above
    • the printed minutes of the Conseil exécutif (cabinet) meetings from mid-December 1985 onward, cited above
    • the title and text of his French WorldHeritage article


  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French).  

External links


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