National Assembly of Quebec

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Assemblée nationale du Québec
National Assembly of Quebec
41st Quebec Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded December 31, 1968 (1968-12-31)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of Quebec
Leadership
J. Michel Doyon
Since 24 September 2015
Jacques Chagnon, QLP
Since 5 April 2011
Philippe Couillard, QLP
Since 23 April 2014
Jean-Marc Fournier, QLP
Since 23 April 2014
Jean-François Lisée, PQ
Since 7 October 2016
Opposition House Leader
Pascal Bérubé, PQ
Since 13 October 2016
Structure
Seats 125 members of Assembly
National Assembly of Quebec - Party Layout Chart Nov. 2016.svg
Political groups

Governing Party

Opposition Parties

Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
April 7, 2014
Next election
October 1, 2018 or earlier
Meeting place
Salle Assemblee nationale Quebec.jpg
Parliament Building, Quebec City, Quebec
Website
www.assnat.qc.ca

The National Assembly of Quebec (French: Assemblée nationale du Québec) is the legislative body of the province of Quebec in Canada. Legislators are called MNAs (Members of the National Assembly; French: députés). The Queen in Right of Quebec, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec[1] and the National Assembly compose the Legislature of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other Westminster-style parliamentary systems.

The National Assembly was formerly the lower house of Quebec's legislature and was then called the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. In 1968, the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished and the remaining house was renamed.

The current President of the National Assembly (equivalent to speaker in other legislatures) is Liberal MNA Jacques Chagnon.

History[edit]

The Legislative Assembly was created in Lower Canada by the Constitutional Act of 1791. It was abolished from 1841 to 1867 under the 1840 Act of Union, which merged Upper Canada and Lower Canada into a single colony named the Province of Canada.

The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act), which created Canada, split the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada was thus restored as the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Quebec.

The original Quebec legislature was bicameral, consisting of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.

In 1968, Bill 90 was passed by the government of Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand, abolishing the Legislative Council and renaming the Legislative Assembly the "National Assembly", in line with the more strident nationalism of the Quiet Revolution. Before 1968, there had been various unsuccessful attempts at abolishing the Legislative Council, which was analogous to the Senate of Canada.

In 1978, television cameras were brought in for the first time to televise parliamentary debates. The colour of the walls was changed to suit the needs of television and the salon vert (green hall) became the salon bleu (blue hall).

Parliament Building[edit]

The Fontaine de Tourny east of the Parliament Building

Constructed between 1877 and 1886, the Parliament Building features the Second Empire architectural style[2] that was popular for prestigious buildings both in Europe (especially France where the style originated) and the United States during the latter 19th century.

Although somewhat more sober in appearance and lacking a towering central belfry, Quebec City's Parliament Building bears a definite likeness to the Philadelphia City Hall, another Second Empire edifice in North America which was built during the same period. Even though the building's symmetrical layout with a frontal clock tower in the middle is typical of legislative institutions of British heritage, the architectural style is believed to be unique among parliament buildings found in other Canadian provincial capitals.[citation needed] Its facade presents a pantheon representing significant events and people of the history of Quebec.

Additional buildings were added next to the Parliament Buildings:

  • Édifice André-Laurendeau was added from 1935 to 1937 to house the Ministry of Transport.
  • Édifice Honoré-Mercier was added from 1922 to 1925 to house the Ministries of the Treasury (Finances), the Attorney General and the Secretary General of the National Assembly.
  • Édifice Jean-Antoine-Panet was added from 1931 to 1932 for the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Édifice Pamphile-Le May added from 1910 to 1915 for the Library of the National Assembly, various other government offices and for the Executive Council.

Elections[edit]

General elections are held every five years or less. Any person holding Canadian citizenship and who has resided in Quebec for at least six months qualifies to be on the electoral list.

Normally, the leader of the political party with the largest number of elected candidates is asked by the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec to form the government as premier. (In French, it is rendered as premier ministre. The term "prime minister" is commonly used by the government as a literal translation of the French term. In Canada's other provinces, whose heads of government are referred to in English as "premier", the title is similarly rendered "premier ministre" in French, too. The term literally means "First Minister". When used in the plural, "First Ministers" in Canada refers collectively to the Provincial Premiers and the Prime Minister of Canada).

Quebec's territory is divided into 125 electoral districts (ridings). In each riding, the candidate who receives the most votes is elected and becomes a Member of the National Assembly (MNA). This is known as the first-past-the-post voting system. It tends to produce strong disparities in the number of seats won compared to the popular vote, perhaps best exemplified by the 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1998 elections.

Quebec elections have also tended to be volatile since the 1970s, producing a large turnover in Assembly seats. Consequently, existing political parties often lose more than half their seats with the rise of new or opposition political parties. For instance, the 1970 and 1973 saw the demise of the Union Nationale and rise of the Parti Québécois which managed to take power in 1976. The 1985 and 1994 elections saw the Liberals gain and lose power in landslide elections.

Members[edit]

Current Standing[edit]

Cabinet ministers are in bold, party leaders are in italic and the president of the National Assembly is marked with a †.

Name Party Riding
  Guy Bourgeois Liberal Abitibi-Est
  François Gendron Parti Québécois Abitibi-Ouest
  Christine St-Pierre Liberal Acadie
  Lise Thériault Liberal Anjou–Louis-Riel
  Yves St-Denis Liberal Argenteuil
  Éric Lefebvre CAQ Arthabaska
  André Spénard CAQ Beauce-Nord
  Paul Busque Liberal Beauce-Sud
  Guy Leclair Parti Québécois Beauharnois
  Dominique Vien Liberal Bellechasse
  André Villeneuve Parti Québécois Berthier
  Claude Cousineau Parti Québécois Bertrand
  Mario Laframboise CAQ Blainville
  Sylvain Roy Parti Québécois Bonaventure
  Simon Jolin-Barrette CAQ Borduas
  Rita de Santis Liberal Bourassa-Sauvé
  Maka Kotto Parti Québécois Bourget
  Pierre Paradis Liberal Brome-Missisquoi
  Independent (since January 26, 2017)
  Jean-François Roberge CAQ Chambly
  Pierre-Michel Auger Liberal Champlain
  Marc Carrière Liberal Chapleau
  François Blais Liberal Charlesbourg
  Caroline Simard Liberal Charlevoix–Côte-de-Beaupré
  Pierre Moreau Liberal Châteauguay
  Véronyque Tremblay Liberal Chauveau
  Mireille Jean Parti Québécois Chicoutimi
  Guy Ouellette Liberal Chomedey
  Marc Picard CAQ Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
  Norbert Morin Liberal Côte-du-Sud
  Marie Montpetit Liberal Crémazie
  David Birnbaum Liberal D'Arcy-McGee
  Benoit Charette CAQ Deux-Montagnes
  Sébastien Schneeberger CAQ Drummond–Bois-Francs
  Serge Simard Liberal Dubuc
  Lorraine Richard Parti Québécois Duplessis
  Monique Sauvé Liberal Fabre
  Gaétan Lelièvre Parti Québécois Gaspé
  Independent (since May 15, 2017)
  Stéphanie Vallée Liberal Gatineau
  Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois Québec solidaire Gouin
  François Bonnardel CAQ Granby
  Claude Surprenant CAQ Groulx
  Independent (since January 24, 2017)
  Carole Poirier Parti Québécois Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
  Maryse Gaudreault Libéral Hull
  Stéphane Billette Libéral Huntingdon
  Claire Samson CAQ Iberville
  Germain Chevarie Liberal Îles-de-la-Madeleine
  Geoffrey Kelley Liberal Jacques-Cartier
  André Drolet Liberal Jean-Lesage
  Filomena Rotiroti Liberal Jeanne-Mance–Viger
  Sébastien Proulx Liberal Jean-Talon
  André Lamontagne CAQ Johnson
  Véronique Hivon Parti Québécois Joliette
  Sylvain Gaudreault Parti Québécois Jonquière
  Sylvain Pagé Parti Québécois Labelle
  Alexandre Cloutier Parti Québécois Lac-Saint-Jean
  Marc Tanguay Liberal LaFontaine
  Éric Caire CAQ La Peltrie
  Gaétan Barrette Liberal La Pinière
  Nicole Ménard Liberal Laporte
  Richard Merlini Liberal La Prairie
  François Legault CAQ L'Assomption
  Gerry Sklavounos Liberal Laurier-Dorion
  Independent (since October 20, 2016)
  Saul Polo Liberal Laval-des-Rapides
  Julie Boulet Liberal Laviolette
  François Paradis CAQ Lévis
  Laurent Lessard Liberal Lotbinière-Frontenac
  Geneviève Guilbault CAQ Louis-Hébert
  Robert Poëti Liberal Marguerite-Bourgeoys
  Catherine Fournier Parti Québécois Marie-Victorin
  François Ouimet Liberal Marquette
  Marc Plante Liberal Maskinongé
  Mathieu Lemay CAQ Masson
  Pascal Bérubé Parti Québécois Matane-Matapédia
  Ghislain Bolduc Liberal Mégantic
  Amir Khadir Québec solidaire Mercier
  Francine Charbonneau Liberal Mille-Îles
  Sylvie D'Amours CAQ Mirabel
  Nathalie Roy CAQ Montarville
  Raymond Bernier Liberal Montmorency
  Pierre Arcand Liberal Mont-Royal
  Martin Coiteux Liberal Nelligan
  Donald Martel CAQ Nicolet-Bécancour
  Kathleen Weil Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  Pierre Reid Liberal Orford
  Hélène David Liberal Outremont
  Alexandre Iracà Liberal Papineau
  Nicole Léger Parti Québécois Pointe-aux-Trembles
  André Fortin Liberal Pontiac
  Michel Matte Liberal Portneuf
  Martin Ouellet Parti Québécois René-Lévesque
  Lise Lavallée CAQ Repentigny
  Sylvain Rochon Parti Québécois Richelieu
  Karine Vallières Liberal Richmond
  Harold LeBel Parti Québécois Rimouski
  Jean D'Amour Liberal Rivière-du-Loup–Témiscouata
  Carlos Leitão Liberal Robert-Baldwin
  Philippe Couillard Liberal Roberval
  Jean-François Lisée Parti Québécois Rosemont
  Nicolas Marceau Parti Québécois Rousseau
  Luc Blanchette Liberal Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue
  Guy Hardy Liberal Saint-François
  Dominique Anglade Liberal Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne
  Chantal Soucy CAQ Saint-Hyacinthe
  Dave Turcotte Parti Québécois Saint-Jean
  Marc Bourcier Parti Québécois Saint-Jérôme
  Jean-Marc Fournier Liberal Saint-Laurent
  Manon Massé Québec solidaire Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques
  Pierre Giguère Liberal Saint-Maurice
  Jean Habel Liberal Sainte-Rose
  Alain Therrien Parti Québécois Sanguinet
  Luc Fortin Liberal Sherbrooke
  Lucie Charlebois Liberal Soulanges
  Diane Lamarre Parti Québécois Taillon
  Agnès Maltais Parti Québécois Taschereau
  Mathieu Traversy Parti Québécois Terrebonne
  Jean-Denis Girard Liberal Trois-Rivières
  Jean Boucher Liberal Ungava
  Martine Ouellet Parti Québécois Vachon
  Independent (since February 5, 2017)
  Patrick Huot Liberal Vanier-Les Rivières
  Marie-Claude Nichols Liberal Vaudreuil
  Stéphane Bergeron Parti Québécois Verchères
  Isabelle Melançon Liberal Verdun
  David Heurtel Liberal Viau
  Jean Rousselle Liberal Vimont
  Jacques Chagnon Liberal Westmount–Saint-Louis

Seating Plan[edit]

Fournier Jean Ouellet Villeneuve Ouellet Traversy Kotto Turcotte Roy D'Amours Lemay Lavallée Lamontagne Surprenant Lefebvre
Cousineau Pagé Gaudreault Therrien Cloutier Poirier Rochon Richard Leclair Schneeberger Laframboise Roberge Samson Soucy
Gendron Lelièvre Léger Marceau Hivon LISÉE Bérubé Maltais Lamarre Bourcier Charette Martel Roy Spénard Sauvé Khadir
Bergeron LeBel Caire LEGAULT Bonnardel Paradis Busque Massé
Picard Tremblay
Jolin-Barrette St-Denis
Chagnon
Chevarie Habel
Matte Giguère Plante
S. Simard A. Fortin Polo
Barrette Lessard Vallée Kelley Huot Ouellette Bourgeois Montpetit
Ouimet Charbonneau Blais Paradis Thériault COUILLARD Fournier Leitão Anglade Coiteux David Proulx D'Amour Iracà Boucher Merlini
Bolduc Reid St-Pierre L. Fortin Billette Vien Arcand Heurtel Sklavounos Charlebois Blanchette Morin Rousselle Birnbaum Hardy
Gaudreault Nichols Bernier De Santis Weil Ménard Tanguay Boulet Rotiroti Carrière Poeti Girard Drolet Vallières Auger C. Simard

Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) swear two oaths: one to the Canadian monarch as Quebec’s head of state, and a second one to the people of Quebec. Previous Parti Québécois premier René Lévesque added the second oath.[3]

Most recent election[edit]

e • d Summary of the April 7, 2014, National Assembly of Quebec election results[4]
Party[5] Party leader[5] Candidates[4] Seats Popular vote
2012 Dissol. 2014 Change % Number % Change (pp)
Liberal Philippe Couillard 125 50 49 70 +21 56.00 1,757,071 41.52 +10.32
Parti Québécois Pauline Marois 124 54 54 30 -24 24.00 1,074,120 25.38 -6.57
Coalition Avenir Québec François Legault 122 19 18 22 +4 17.60 975,607 23.05 -4.00
Québec solidaire Françoise David, Andrés Fontecilla 124 2 2 3 +1 2.40 323,124 7.63 +1.60
Option nationale Sol Zanetti 116 30,697 0.73 -1.16
Green Alex Tyrrell 44 23,163 0.55 -0.44
Conservative Adrien Pouliot 59 16,429 0.39 +0.21
  Independent 11 2 15,361 0.36 +0.09
Parti nul Renaud Blais 24 7,539 0.18 +0.12
Bloc Pot Hugô St-Onge 14 2,690 0.06 +0.05
Marxist–Leninist Pierre Chénier 24 2,016 0.05 ±0.00
Parti équitable Patricia Domingos 5 1,645 0.04 +0.04
Parti des sans Parti Frank Malenfant 5 1,291 0.03 -0.09††
Mon pays le Québec Claude Dupré 6 * * 521 0.01 *
Équipe autonomiste Guy Boivin 5 400 0.01 -0.04
Unité Nationale Paul Biron 3 241 0.01 -0.02
Quebec – Democratic Revolution Robert Genesse 1 163 0.00 -0.01
Parti indépendantiste Michel Lepage 1 126 0.00 -0.03
Quebec Citizens' Union Marc-André Lacroix 1 58 0.00 -0.05
Total 814 125 125 125 0 100.00 4,232,262 100.00
Valid ballots 4,232,262 98.54 -0.24
Rejected ballots 62,793 1.46 +0.24
Voter turnout 4,295,055 71.44 -3.16
Registered electors 6,012,440

Notes:

The party designates David and Fontecilla as co-spokespeople. The party's power is held by the general meetings of the members and a board of 16 directors; the de jure leader recognized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec (DGE) is Pierre-Paul St-Onge.[5]
†† Party contested the 2012 election under the name Coalition pour la constituante.
* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Changes during the 41st Quebec Legislature[edit]

Number of members
per party by date
2014 2015 2016 2017
Apr 7 Aug 15 Sep 29 Oct 20 Feb 26 Mar 9 Apr 7 Jun 8 Aug 21 Aug 24 Aug 26 Sep 3 Sep 22 Oct 22 Nov 9 Apr 11 May 2 Jun 13 Jul 31 Aug 19 Oct 20 Dec 5 Jan 19 Jan 24 Jan 26 Feb 5 Apr 27 May 16 May 29 Oct 2
Liberal 70 69 71 70 69 68 71 70 69 70 69 68
Parti Québécois 30 29 30 29 28 29 30 29 28 30 29 28
Coalition Avenir Québec 22 21 22 21 20 21 20 21
Québec solidaire 3 2 3
Independent 0 1 0 1 2 3 4 5
  Total members 125 124 123 124 123 124 123 125 124 123 122 121 120 124 125 124 123 122 121 125 124 123 124 125
Vacant 0 1 2 1 2 1 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 1 0
  Government majority 15 16 17 16 15 14 15 17 16 15 16 15 16 18 17 18 19 20 19 18 15 16 15 14 13 12

Proceedings[edit]

One of the members of the National Assembly is chosen as the President of the Assembly (a post called Speaker in most other Westminster System assemblies) by the Premier with the support of the Leader of the Opposition. The President of the Assembly is the arbiter of the parliamentary debates between the members of the government and the members of the Opposition. In order for a member to address a member of the other side, he or she has to speak through the President of the Assembly. The President is usually a member of the governing party, although there is no requirement for this.

The proceedings of the National Assembly are broadcast across Quebec on the cable television network Canal de l'Assemblée nationale.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ An Act respecting the National Assembly, CQLR 1982, c. A-23.1, s. 2
  2. ^ Useful Information - National Assembly of Québec. Assnat.qc.ca (2012-10-29). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ Dougherty, ,Kevin. "A ‘government of all Quebecers,’ Couillard says". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "General elections". DGE. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Political parties". DGE. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
Bibliography
  • Assemblé nationale du Québec (2000). What is the National Assembly?, Québec: Assemblée nationale, 58 p. (ISBN 2-550-30165-X)
  • Deschênes, Gaston (1983). The Assemblée nationale: Its Organization and Parliamentary Procedure, Québec: Assemblée nationale, 53 p. (ISBN 2551047595) [1st ed. in 1977]

External links[edit]