Jean Lapierre

From Academic Kids

The Hon. Jean-C. Lapierre PC (born May 7, 1956) is a Canadian politician, born in Bassin, Quebec

Lapierre is a prominent member of the Liberal Party of Canada and Paul Martin's political lieutenant in Quebec. He returned to the Canadian House of Commons after an 11 year absence when he won a seat in 2004 federal election for the riding of Outremont. On July 20, 2004 he was appointed to the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of Transport.

He originally served in the House of Commons from 1979 to 1993, representing the riding of Shefford. He was a Liberal from 1979 to 1990, serving as a junior minister in John Turner's short-lived government. Lapierre supported Paul Martin's unsuccessful campaign for the Liberal leadership in 1990, but left that party after Jean Chrétien became leader. He helped found the Bloc Québécois and served as a Bloc Québécois MP until 1993, when he retired from politics for a time and abandoned his affiliation with the Bloc. The Liberal Party refers to his member ship in a "temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition", but otherwise ignores his stint with the Bloc Québécois.

In private life, Lapierre had a very high profile in Quebec as a broadcaster and talk show host for Montreal radio station CKAC. He also worked simultaneously as a TV news presenter for a time. He had a reputation for being extremely well-connected, able to pick up the phone and arrange meetings between different Quebecers from all walks of life, and was sometimes sought for behind-the-scenes political advice. However, he never gave up his political ambitions and returned to politics soon after Paul Martin became Liberal leader in 2003.

Soon after his return to politics, Lapierre ridiculed the Clarity Act, which aims to set Canada's conditions for accepting the results of any future successful referendum on Quebec sovereignty.

As a talk show host, Lapierre was free to speak his mind (and in fact was paid to do so). Some have speculated that he may find the rules of politics to be somewhat constraining, in particular the requirement to stay "on message".

Lapierre was expected to deliver the vote in Quebec, but in the wake of the sponsorship scandal, the Bloc Québécois soundly beat the Liberals, winning 54 of the 75 seats in Quebec. There has been some backroom anger over the poor result and some Liberals feel that Lapierre should not have been appointed to the cabinet.

Lapierre's record as Minister of Transport has been criticized, primarily in light of the Jetsgo collapse, which some blame on his department. Lapierre, however, steadfastly denies that he or his department were to blame for the airliner's collapse.

Lapierre drew further fire following his 13 June, 2005 comments on Gilles Duceppe's decision not to enter provincial politics. Lapierre called him a coward, and was seen by some as trying to goad the seperatist leader into changing his mind, a decision that almost undoubtedly would help to sell seperatism in Quebec. Given Lapierre's seperatist leanings, the comments were seen as particularly odd.

27th Ministry - Government of Paul Martin
Cabinet Posts (1)
Preceded by:
Tony Valeri
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by:
23rd Ministry - Government of John Napier Turner
Cabinet Posts (1)
Minister of State (Youth) (Fitness
and Amateur Sport)

Preceded by:
Martin Cauchon, Liberal
Members of Parliament for Outremont
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Gilbert Rondeau, Social Credit
Members of Parliament for Shefford
Succeeded by:
Jean H. Leroux, Bloc Québécois
Preceded by:
Tony Valeri
Minister of Transport
2004 -
Succeeded by:
incumbent Template:End box

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