Jérôme Choquette

Jérôme Choquette
MNA for Outremont
In office
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byAndré Raynauld
Personal details
Born(1928-01-25)January 25, 1928
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedSeptember 1, 2017(2017-09-01) (aged 89)
Political partyLiberal

Jérôme Choquette (French pronunciation: ​[ʒeʁom ʃɔkɛt]; January 25, 1928 – September 1, 2017) was a lawyer and politician in Quebec, Canada.[1] Choquette ran a private law practice, representing various claimants in a wide range of cases from his office on Avenue du Parc, downtown Montreal.

Early life

Choquette was born in Montreal, Quebec, and studied at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Academy and Collège Stanislas in Montreal, a Roman Catholic private school considered an elite institution in Quebec. He graduated from McGill University with a law degree in 1949, and was called to the Bar of Quebec in the same year. In 1951, he obtained a doctorate in economics from the Paris Law School in Paris, France. He also studied at the School of Business Administration at Columbia University in New York City.

He practised law in Montreal beginning in 1951 and was given the honorary title of Queen's Counsel in 1963.[citation needed]


Member of the National Assembly

In the 1966 provincial election, he was elected to the provincial legislature of Quebec from the riding of Outremont in Montreal as a member of the Quebec Liberal Party. He was re-elected in the 1970 and 1973 elections.

Cabinet member

In the Liberal government of Robert Bourassa, he served as Minister of Financial Institutions from May to October 1970, Minister of Justice from May 1970 to July 1975, and Minister of Education from July to September 1975, when he resigned from the Liberal Party.

Choquette was the Minister of Justice during the October Crisis and one of the targets of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Pierre Laporte, his fellow cabinet member and then-Deputy Premier. Seen as a decisive and strong Cabinet Minister, Choquette took the position during the Crisis that the government of Quebec could not give in to the FLQ demands without compromising its responsibility as the democratically elected government. Choquette openly carried a revolver during the crisis, he said, so that he could not be harassed. He also suggested that Bourassa name a minister of social peace.[2] In a memorandum of John Starnes dated of October 29, 1970, he writes : "It appeared that the municipal authorities in Montreal had information which appeared to implicate the Quebec minister of Justice, Mr. Choquette, in the FLQ conspiracy." Following the resolution of the Crisis and expiration of the War Measures Act, Choquette brought in the services of the Quebec Ombudsman and provided the vehicle by which anyone unjustly treated had their case reviewed and given proper compensation. During the October Crisis, Choquette reportedly reluctantly supported the suspension of civil liberties under the War Measures Act.[3]

Until he was removed from the portfolio, Choquette was deeply involved and interested in prosecuting Henry Morgentaler.[4]

Choquette was the Cabinet Minister who helped create the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, introduced it into the National Assembly in 1975 and established Quebec's legal aid system.[5][6]

Parti National Populaire

In September 1975, Choquette resigned as Minister of Education over differences in language policy. He wanted stricter enforcement of the requirement that children whose parents were not educated in English be educated in French.[7][8] He repeatedly refused the entreaties of Maurice Bellemare that he take over the leadership of the Union Nationale party.[9]

On December 14, 1975, he founded the Parti National Populaire with Fabien Roy, a member of the National Assembly who had been expelled from the Ralliement créditiste du Québec.[citation needed] Choquette was confirmed as leader of the party at a party congress on October 24, 1976. He was defeated in Outremont in the November 1976 Quebec election.

Choquette resigned from the PNP on March 29, 1977, and rejoined the Liberal Party on January 16, 1978.

Municipal politics

Choquette restarted his law career in 1976. From 1983 to 1991, he served as mayor of the Montreal suburb of Outremont.

In 1993, he began a campaign for the leadership of the Civic Party of Montreal, a municipal political party in Montreal, but later withdrew from the race and founded the Parti des Montréalais (Montrealers’ Party).[citation needed] As leader of that party, he was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Montreal in 1994.

See also


  1. ^ "Décès de l'ex-ministre Choquette" (in French). Le Journal de Montréal. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. ^ https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/jerome-choquette-quebec-justice-minister-during-october-crisis-dies-at-89/article36157262/
  3. ^ https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/jerome-choquette-quebec-justice-minister-during-october-crisis-dies-at-89/article36157262/
  4. ^ Wright, Eleanor Pelrine. Morgentaler: The Doctor Who Couldn't Turn Away, p. 208.
  5. ^ History of the Charter, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission), Quebec
  6. ^ https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/jerome-choquette-quebec-justice-minister-during-october-crisis-dies-at-89/article36157262/
  7. ^ "Levine, Marc. The Reconquest Of Montreal: Language Policy and Social Change in a Bilingual City. "A Polarized City" Pages 105-6. Temple University Press, Philadelphia. LCN 8920378. ISBN 978-0-87722-703-8.
  8. ^ Montreal Gazette, "Choquette tops Biron as interim chief of new alliance", 5 August 1976, p.1
  9. ^ Montreal Gazette, "PNP, UN to join forces", 4 August 1976, p.1

External links

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