Parliamentary Relatives

Article 1 / 11 , Vol 43 No. 2 (Summer)

Parliamentary Relatives

The political history of Quebec has many examples of parliamentarians with family connections. In some instances, family members even sat at the same time. This was the case for Quebec Premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau and his son Robert, who both sat in Quebec’s Legislative Assembly from 1930 to 1936.

Siblings also sat at the same time on several occasions: brothers Daniel and Pierre Marc Johnson sat together from 1985 to 1987, representing different parties. Their father was Daniel Johnson Sr., who had served as Premier of Quebec from 1966 to 1968. Interestingly enough, both brothers also served as Premier. In another case, sisters Hélène and Françoise David sat in the National Assembly from 2014 to 2017: one in government, one in opposition.

These sisters were also fourth-generation parliamentarians. Their ancestor Laurent-Olivier David was a Member of the Legislative Assembly (1886–1890), as was his son Athanase (1916–1936, 1939–1940). They both subsequently sat in the Senate of Canada. Athanase’s son, Paul David, the father of Hélène and Françoise, also served as a senator (1985–1994).

This example is impressive, but what about families whose members served as provincial representatives or legislative advisors exclusively in Quebec, also in consecutive generations? This is the case for both the Tessier family and one branch of the Taschereau family – not the same branch as Louis-Alexandre, mentioned above. Ulric-Joseph Tessier became a Member of the Legislative Assembly in 1851. Three subsequent generations served in Quebec City, ending with his great-grandson Maurice, who left the National Assembly in 1973. The Taschereau family legacy dates back even earlier. In 1792, Gabriel-Elzéar sat in the House of Assembly of Lower Canada, while the fourth generation and last representative, Henri-Elzéar, served until 1867.

Another interesting family legacy is that of Fabien Bélanger, the MNA for Mégantic-Compton from 1980 to 1983 at the National Assembly of Quebec. When he passed away, his wife, Madeleine Bélanger (née Audet) succeeded him and held the seat until 2003. Four years later, their daughter, Johanne Gonthier, was elected in the same riding.

Jacques Gagnon

Director, National Assembly
Library of Quebec