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Louise Harel

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Title: Louise Harel  
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Subject: Carole Poirier, Quebec provincial election, 1989/Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Quebec, Michael Applebaum, New Democratic Party candidates, 2000 Canadian federal election
Collection: 1946 Births, Canadian Women in Municipal Politics, Female Canadian Political Party Leaders, French Quebecers, Leaders of the Parti Québécois, Living People, Montreal City Councillors, Parti Québécois Mnas, People from Mercier–hochelaga-Maisonneuve, People from Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Presidents of the National Assembly of Quebec, Université De Montréal Alumni, Women Mnas in Quebec, Women Municipal Councillors in Canada
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Louise Harel

Louise Harel
City Councillor for Maisonneuve–Longue-Pointe
In office
Preceded by Claire St-Arnaud
Succeeded by Laurence Lavigne Lalonde
Leader of the Opposition
In office
June 4, 2005 – August 14, 2006
Preceded by Bernard Landry
Succeeded by André Boisclair
MNA for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
In office
September 25, 1989 – November 5, 2008
Preceded by First Member
Succeeded by Carole Poirier
MNA for Maisonneuve
In office
April 13, 1981 – September 25, 1989
Preceded by Georges Lalande
Succeeded by Riding Dissolved
Personal details
Born (1946-04-22) April 22, 1946
Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville, Quebec
Political party Parti Québécois
Vision Montréal
Residence Montreal, Quebec

Louise Harel (born April 22, 1946) is a Quebec politician. In 2005 she served as interim leader of the Parti Québécois following the resignation of Bernard Landry. She was also interim leader of the opposition in the National Assembly of Quebec. She represented the riding of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve in the Montreal region, and its predecessors, from 1981 to 2008. She ran for Mayor of Montreal as the representative of the Vision Montreal municipal political party in the 2009 election, but was defeated by incumbent Gérald Tremblay. In the 2013 Montreal election, Harel supported federalist Marcel Côté for mayor but failed to be elected to her own council seat.


  • Life and career 1
    • Montreal mayoralty campaign 2009 1.1
    • Montreal municipal election 2013 1.2
  • Electoral record 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and career

Harel was born in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville, Quebec. She graduated in 1977 from the Université de Montréal with a law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1978. She worked at the national secretariat, the Centre des services sociaux de Montréal and the Social Development Council of Metropolitan Montreal as a staff member. She has been a member of the Parti Québécois (PQ) since 1970 and was the president of the party in Montreal-Centre in the 1970s and the vice-president of the party province wide from 1979 to 1981.

She was first elected to the National Assembly in the 1981 election as the Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Maisonneuve. In 1984, she was appointed Minister of Cultural Communities and Immigration by Quebec Premier René Lévesque, and served until the government's electoral defeat in the 1985 election. She retained her seat that year and in 1989 (when it was renamed Hochelaga-Maisonneuve), however, and served in opposition for the next five years.

When the PQ returned to power in the 1994 election under the leadership of Jacques Parizeau, she returned to cabinet as Minister of Employment and minister responsible for immigration.

After being re-elected in 1998, she later served as Minister of Municipal Affairs. During her tenure as minister, she tabled a bill which forced the merger of several small municipalities into one entity and affected all key cities such as Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay, Longueuil and Sherbrooke. The project, which was implemented in 2002 was met with mixed reviews and later become a key issue during the 2003 provincial elections.

In 2002, she became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the National Assembly, and remained in that capacity until the 2003 election, after which she joined the PQ on the opposition benches.

Harel served as interim PQ leader and leader of the opposition until a leadership election chose André Boisclair as leader on November 15, 2005. She was not a candidate in the leadership election. She continued to serve as leader of the opposition until PQ leader André Boisclair won his seat in the National Assembly on August 14, 2006.

She was re-elected in the 2007 elections and named the PQ critic in social services and later she was also giving the portfolio of Status of Women. In October 2008, she announced that she will not seek another mandate.[1]

Montreal mayoralty campaign 2009

Harel ran for mayor of Montreal for the November 1, 2009 Montreal municipal election on behalf of the municipal Vision Montréal party. To that end, she studied to improve her poor English, a liability in a city where almost 20% the population is Anglophone. She has stated that the rise of "ethnic neighbourhoods" in the city is an undesirable situation, because she believes that Montrealers should feel part of the whole city, not just of their own borough.[2] A central aspect of her campaign has been to centralize municipal government.[3]

She came in second in the mayoralty race, and became city councillor for the district of Maisonneuve–Longue-Pointe. She announced she would remain leader of Vision Montréal and opposition leader at City Hall.

Montreal municipal election 2013

In early July 2013, Harel allied Vision Montreal with mayoral hopeful Marcel Côté.[4] She opted against another mayoral run in her own right after recognizing that given her massive unpopularity among anglophones it was impossible for her to become mayor.

After her own district was abolished, Harel ran for councillor in Sainte-Marie, the eastern section of Ville-Marie, but lost to Projet Montreal's Valérie Plante.[5] Côté came a distant fourth in the mayoral race at the head of a new party called Coalition Montréal Marcel Côté.[6]

In January 2014 Harel announced her intention to revive Vision Montreal but not to run for office again herself.[7] She has also begun a weekly broadcast on Radio Ville-Marie.[8]

Electoral record

Sainte-Marie, Ville-Marie borough, 2013[9]
  Candidate Party Vote %
  Valérie Plante Projet Montréal   32.95%
  Louise Harel Coalition Montréal Marcel Côté   29.52%
  Pierre Mainville Independent   21.21%
  Pierre Paiement Équipe Denis Coderre   11.71%
  Anne-Marie Gélinas Parti Integrité Montréal   4.62%
Montreal municipal election, 2009[10]
  Candidate Party Vote %
  Gérald Tremblay (incumbent) Union Montréal 159,020 37.90%
  Louise Harel Vision Montréal 137,301 32.73%
  Richard Bergeron Projet Montréal 106,768 25.45%
  Louise O'Sullivan Parti Montréal - Ville-Marie 8,490 2.02%
  Michel Bédard Parti Fierté Montréal 5,297 1.26%
  Michel Prairie Independent 2,648 0.63%
Quebec general election, 2007: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     Parti Québécois Louise Harel 13,012 52.71 -3.06
     Action démocratique Marie-Chantal Pelletier 3,836 15.54 +5.14
Liberal Vahid Vidah-Fortin 3,347 13.56 -12.80
     Québec solidaire Gabriel Chevrefils 2,388 9.67 +6.33
Green Geneviève Guérin 1,749 7.09 +5.53
Bloc Pot Starbuck Leroidurock 193 0.78 -1.24
     Independent Daniel Laforest 97 0.39
Marxist–Leninist Christine Dandenault 63 0.26 -0.08
Total valid votes 24,685 98.58
Total rejected ballots 355 1.42
Turnout 25,040 62.18 +2.09
Electors on the lists 40,272
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.
Quebec general election, 2003: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Louise Harel 13,138 55.77 -4.84
Liberal Richer Dompierre 6,210 26.36 +0.83
Action démocratique Louise Blackburn 2,449 10.40 -1.11
UFP Lise Alarie 788 3.34
Bloc Pot Alex Néron 476 2.02
Green Daniel Breton 367 1.56
Marxist–Leninist Christine Dandenault 79 0.34 -0.28
Christian Democracy Mario Richard 52 0.22
Total valid votes 23,559 98.40
Total rejected ballots 383 1.60
Turnout 23,942 60.09 -7.92
Electors on the lists 39,843
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.
Quebec general election, 1998: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Louise Harel 12,922 60.61 -4.17
Liberal Andrée Trudel 5,444 25.53 -0.80
Action démocratique Jean-Louis Lalonde 2,454 11.51 +6.06
Socialist Democracy Félix Lapan 292 1.37 -0.34
Marxist–Leninist Christine Dandenault 133 0.62 +0.26
Communist Robert Aubin 75 0.35
Total valid votes 21,320 98.41
Total rejected ballots 345 1.59
Turnout 21,665 68.01 -7.53
Electors on the lists 31,855
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.
Quebec general election, 1994: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Louise Harel 14,858 64.78 +1.28
Liberal Eric Taillefer 6,039 26.33 -2.98
Action démocratique Michèle Piché 1,249 5.45
New Democratic Hugues Tremblay 392 1.71 +0.30
Natural Law Richard Lauzon 190 0.83
Sovereignty Marc Boyer 127 0.55
Marxist–Leninist Christine Dandenault 82 0.36 +0.10
Total valid votes 22,937 97.68
Total rejected ballots 545 2.32
Turnout 23,482 75.54 +6.83
Electors on the lists 31,087
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.
Quebec general election, 1989
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Parti Québécois Louise Harel 14,639 63.50
     Liberal Yvon Lewis 6,479 29.28
Green Jean-Pierre Bonefant 685 2.97
     NDP Jocelyne Dupuis 326 1.41
     Workers Ginette St-Amour 144 0.62
     Progressive Conservative Suzanne Ethier 141 0.61
     Parti indépendantiste Michel Larocque 138 0.60
     Independent Keith Meadowcroft 114 0.49
     Marxist-Leninist Christiane Robidoux 60 0.26
     Republic of Canada Daniel Ricard 56 0.24
Quebec general election, 1985: Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     Parti Québécois Louise Harel 12,373 51.75
Liberal Monelle Saindon 10,285 43.02
     New Democratic Party Milan Mirich 495 2.07
Union Nationale André Léveillé 322 1.35
     Progressive Conservative Morris Tremblay 138 0.58
     Humanist Victor Riquelme 117 0.49
     Christian Socialist Carole Dunn 76 0.32
     Communist Montserrat Escola 52 0.22
     Non-affiliated Nelson Dubé 49 0.20
Total valid votes 23,907 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 552
Turnout 24,459 69.53
Electors on the lists 35,176
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Former PQ cabinet minister Harel seeks Montreal mayor's job". ( 
  4. ^ "Louise Harel appuiera Marcel Côté à la mairie de Montréal". ( 
  5. ^ "Ville-Marie: Harel’s loss to newcomer part of wave of change". ( 
  6. ^ "Election results for Quebec". ( 
  7. ^ "Vision Montréal pourrait revenir en force". ( 
  8. ^ "Louise Harel à Radio Ville-Marie". ( 
  9. ^ "Quebec Municipal Elections 2013 - Election results for Quebec". CBC. 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  10. ^ "City Mayor, Élection Montréal 2009". Élection Montréal. 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 

External links

  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French).  
Political offices
Preceded by
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau
President of the National Assembly
2002-03-12 – 2003-06-04
Succeeded by
Michel Bissonnet
Preceded by
Bernard Landry
Leader of the Parti Québécois
Succeeded by
André Boisclair
Preceded by
Bernard Landry
Leader of the Opposition in Quebec
2005-06-06 – 2006-08-21
Succeeded by
André Boisclair
Preceded by
Minister of Employment
Succeeded by
Diane Lemieux
Preceded by
Remy Trudel
Minister of Municipal Affairs
Succeeded by
Andre Boisclair
Preceded by
Benoit Labonté
Leader of Vision Montréal
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Benoit Labonté
Leader the Opposition, Montreal City Council
Succeeded by
Richard Bergeron
Preceded by
Claire St-Arnaud
City Councillor, Maisonneuve–Longue-Pointe
Succeeded by
Laurence Lavigne Lalonde
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