Jean Rochon, a former Parti Québécois health minister known for introducing anti-smoking measures and reforms that allowed Quebecers to receive care outside of hospitals, has died.
Rochon’s widow told The Canadian Press that she died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 83 years old.
Rochon served as cabinet minister in the provincial governments of Jacques Parizeau, Lucien Bouchard, and Bernard Landry during a nine-year career in politics between 1994 and 2003.
Prime Minister François Legault was one of many provincial politicians who paid tribute to Rochon on Tuesday, expressing their condolences to the family of his former colleague, whom he described in a Twitter post as a kind and brilliant man.
Born in 1938, Rochon earned a law degree in 1961 and a medical degree in 1966. He then earned a master’s degree in public health in 1968 and a doctorate in public health in 1973 from Harvard University.
Rochon was first elected in 1994 at the Charlesbourg in the Quebec City area and held numerous cabinet positions, particularly the health portfolio between 1994 and 1998. He left politics in 2003.
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