1960-2024 | Benoît Pelletier, a great Quebecer and a “gentleman”

Political and journalistic circles were shocked to learn of the death at the age of 64 of Benoît Pelletier, former liberal minister under Jean-Charest.

Former minister Benoît Pelletier dies at the age of 64

In a press release, his family indicated that the death occurred in Mexico on March 30.

“Benoît Pelletier was brilliant, generous and courteous. He had Quebec and the defense of our language at heart,” wrote Prime Minister François Legault on X.

Elected Liberal Party MP in Chapleau in 1998, then re-elected in 2003 and 2007. Mr. Pelletier was minister from 2003 to 2008, responsible, among other things, for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and La Francophonie.

As a jurist – Mr. Pelletier was a constitutionalist – and as a politician, Benoît Pelletier “played an essential role in strengthening the status of Quebec within Canada and abroad,” wrote former Prime Minister Jean Charest. He leaves an invaluable political legacy.”

Mr. Pelletier “was a reference in constitutional law,” also noted Marc Tanguay, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec. His political talent and dedication as a lawyer and professor at the University of Ottawa have inspired many of us. Scholarly, great orator and always ready to help, he will remain a model for us all.”

Dominique Anglade, former leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, says she remembers “her immense desire to carry the Quebec nation loud and clear”.

Mr. Pelletier was also a great communicator. He was always ready to enlighten the public debate, even just a few weeks ago, during the favorable judgment in Quebec on the law on secularism.

He was very available to journalists. “Affable, generous, moderate and in full control of his files,” commented Sébastien Bovet, journalist at Radio-Canada.

He was “a gentleman,” summed up Les Perreaux, editor-in-chief of Options Politiques and ex-journalist at Globe and Mail.

In its press release, the family emphasizes that Mr. Pelletier had survived COVID-19 “which hit him mercilessly in 2021”. After a coma, Mr. Pelletier took months to recover. His daughter, Françoise Goulet-Pelletier then published a touching text on her father’s illness, sparking a wave of support and tributes from all sides.

In November 2001, he wrote a report entitled “A project for Quebec, affirmation, autonomy and leadership” which became the spearhead of the Charest government’s action plan in matters of intergovernmental affairs.

His family recalled in a press release that Mr. Pelletier “has always defended a federalism evolving with respect for both levels of government and participated in debates on the role of Quebec within Canada and internationally.”

In interview at Duty in 2007, he declared that he would not hesitate to define himself “as an autonomist”.

Holder of two doctorates in law, Mr. Pelletier is, among others, a member of the Order of Canada, Officer of the National Order of Quebec and Grand Citizen of the Order of Gatineau.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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