Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago today the person Quebeckers consider to be the greatest premier in the last 50 years, René Lévesque, departed this life.
He began as a distinguished journalist and war correspondent, and then made an exceptional career in politics, which culminated in the nationalization of electricity while he was a minister under Jean Lesage, the creation of the Mouvement souveraineté-association and the election of the first sovereignist government in the history of Quebec on November 15, 1976.
René Lévesque’s Parti Québécois government initiated reforms that still have a major impact today: the Charter of the French Language, party finance legislation and legislation on the protection of agricultural land, automobile insurance and consumer protection, and the list goes on.
The memory of René Lévesque will remain forever etched in our history, and most importantly in our hearts.
The task of writing René Lévesque’s epigraph fell to another giant, Félix Leclerc: “The first page of the true, beautiful history of Quebec has just ended...From now on, he belongs on the short list of the liberators of people.”