National Assembly of Quebec

Last updated

National Assembly of Quebec

Assemblée nationale
42nd Quebec Legislature
Assemblee nationale du Quebec 1.svg
Type
Type
History
FoundedDecember 31, 1968 (1968-12-31)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of Quebec
Leadership
François Paradis
since November 26, 2018
François Legault, CAQ
since October 18, 2018
Simon Jolin-Barrette, CAQ
since October 18, 2018
Dominique Anglade, PLQ
since May 11, 2020
Opposition House Leader
Marc Tanguay, PLQ
since September 5, 2019
Structure
Seats125 members of Assembly
Diagramme Assemblee nationale du Quebec 2021-06-28.png
Political groups
Government of Quebec
  •    CAQ (74)

Official Opposition

Other parties

Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
October 1, 2018
Next election
On or before October 3, 2022
Meeting place
CM 2019-08 024.jpg
Parliament Building, Quebec City, Quebec
Website
assnat.qc.ca

The National Assembly of Quebec (officially in French: Assemblée nationale [1] ) is the legislative body of the province of Quebec in Canada. Legislators are called MNAs (Members of the National Assembly; French: députés). The Queen in Right of Quebec, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec [2] and the National Assembly compose the Legislature of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other Westminster-style parliamentary systems. The assembly has 125 members elected first past the post from single-member districts.

Contents

The National Assembly was formerly the lower house of Quebec's legislature and was then called the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. In 1968, the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished and the remaining house was renamed. The office of President of the National Assembly is equivalent to speaker in other legislatures. The Coalition Avenir Québec currently has the most seats in the Assembly following the 2018 Quebec general election.

History

Quebec Legislative Assembly in 1933 Assemblee legislative du Quebec 1933-04-05.jpg
Quebec Legislative Assembly in 1933

The Constitutional Act 1791 created the Parliament of Lower Canada. It consisted of two chambers, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. That parliament and both chambers were abolished in 1841 when the 1840 Act of Union merged Upper Canada and Lower Canada into a single province named the Province of Canada. The Act of Union created a new Parliament of the Province of Canada, also composed of a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly. That Parliament had jurisdiction over the entire province, with members from Lower Canada and Upper Canada in both houses.

The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly known as the British North America Act), created Canada, and also created the provinces of Ontario and Quebec by splitting the old Province of Canada into two, based on the old boundaries of Lower Canada and Upper Canada. The act created a new bicameral Legislature for the province of Quebec, composed of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Quebec.

In 1968, Bill 90 was passed by the government of Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand, abolishing the Legislative Council and renaming the Legislative Assembly the "National Assembly", in line with the more strident nationalism of the Quiet Revolution. Before 1968, there had been various unsuccessful attempts at abolishing the Legislative Council, which was analogous to the Senate of Canada.

In 1978, television cameras were brought in for the first time to televise parliamentary debates. The colour of the walls was changed to suit the needs of television and the salon vert (green hall) became the salon bleu (blue hall).

In 1984, Canadian Forces corporal Denis Lortie stormed into the Parliament Building and opened fire, killing three government employees and wounding thirteen others. His intended target was Premier René Lévesque and his Parti Québécois government, however he was around 15 minutes early and the Assembly floor was still mostly empty; no politicians were shot. He surrendered to police hours later. [3]

Parliament Building

The Fontaine de Tourny
east of the Parliament Building QuebecParlementTourny.jpg
The Fontaine de Tourny east of the Parliament Building

Constructed between 1877 and 1886, the Parliament Building features the Second Empire architectural style [4] that was popular for prestigious buildings both in Europe (especially France where the style originated) and the United States during the latter 19th century.

Although somewhat more sober in appearance and lacking a towering central belfry, Quebec City's Parliament Building bears a definite likeness to the Philadelphia City Hall, another Second Empire edifice in North America which was built during the same period. Even though the building's symmetrical layout with a frontal clock tower in the middle is typical of legislative institutions of British heritage, the architectural style is believed to be unique among parliament buildings found in other Canadian provincial capitals.[ citation needed ] Its façade presents a pantheon representing significant events and people of the history of Quebec.

In 1936, Maurice Duplessis hung a crucifix in the Legislative Assembly chamber. It hung there for 83 years, until it was removed on 10 July 2019. [5]

Additional buildings were added, adjacent to the Parliament Buildings:

Elections

General elections are held every four years or less. Since 2014, the legislature has had a fixed four-year term, with elections taking place no later than "the first Monday of October of the fourth calendar year following the year that includes the last day of the previous Legislature." [6] However, the lieutenant governor, acting on the advice of the premier, can dissolve the legislature and call an election earlier. Any Canadian citizen at least 18 years old and who has resided in Quebec for at least six months qualifies to be on the electoral list.

Normally, the lieutenant governor invites the leader of the political party with the largest number of elected candidates to form the government as premier. (In French, it is rendered as premier ministre. The term prime minister is commonly used by the government as a literal translation of the French term. In the other Canadian Provinces, the head of government are referred to in English as "premier". The title is similarly rendered "premier ministre" in French, too. The term literally means "first minister". When used in the plural, "first ministers" in Canada refers collectively to the provincial premiers and the prime minister of Canada).

Quebec's territory is divided into 125 electoral districts (ridings). In each riding, the candidate who receives the most votes is elected and becomes a member of the National Assembly (MNA). This is known as the first-past-the-post voting system. It tends to produce strong disparities in the number of seats won compared to the popular vote, perhaps best exemplified by the 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1998 elections.

Quebec elections have also tended to be volatile since the 1970s, producing a large turnover in Assembly seats. Consequently, existing political parties often lose more than half their seats with the rise of new or opposition political parties. For instance, the 1970 and 1973 saw the demise of the Union Nationale and rise of the Parti Québécois which managed to take power in 1976. The 1985 and 1994 elections saw the Liberals gain and lose power in landslide elections. The 2018 elections saw the rise of the Coalition Avenir Québec, which took power for the first time.

Members

Current standings

Cabinet ministers are in bold, party leaders are in italic and the president of the National Assembly is marked with a †.

NamePartyRiding
  Pierre Dufour CAQ Abitibi-Est
  Suzanne Blais CAQ Abitibi-Ouest
  Christine St-Pierre Liberal Acadie
  Lise Thériault Liberal Anjou–Louis-Riel
  Agnès Grondin CAQ Argenteuil
  Éric Lefebvre CAQ Arthabaska
  Luc Provençal CAQ Beauce-Nord
  Samuel Poulin CAQ Beauce-Sud
  Claude Reid CAQ Beauharnois
  Stéphanie Lachance CAQ Bellechasse
  Caroline Proulx CAQ Berthier
  Nadine Girault CAQ Bertrand
  Mario Laframboise CAQ Blainville
  Sylvain Roy PQ Bonaventure
  Independent
  Simon Jolin-Barrette CAQ Borduas
  Paule Robitaille Liberal Bourassa-Sauvé
  Richard Campeau CAQ Bourget
  Isabelle Charest CAQ Brome-Missisquoi
  Jean-François Roberge CAQ Chambly
  Sonia LeBel CAQ Champlain
  Mathieu Lévesque CAQ Chapleau
  Jonatan Julien CAQ Charlesbourg
  Émilie Foster CAQ Charlevoix–Côte-de-Beaupré
  Marie-Chantal Chassé CAQ Châteauguay
  Sylvain Lévesque CAQ Chauveau
  Andrée Laforest CAQ Chicoutimi
  Guy Ouellette Liberal Chomedey
  Independent
  Marc Picard CAQ Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
  Marie-Eve Proulx CAQ Côte-du-Sud
  David Birnbaum Liberal D'Arcy-McGee
  Benoit Charette CAQ Deux-Montagnes
  Sébastien Schneeberger CAQ Drummond–Bois-Francs
  François Tremblay CAQ Dubuc
  Lorraine Richard PQ Duplessis
  Monique Sauvé Liberal Fabre
  Méganne Perry-Mélançon PQ Gaspé
  Robert Bussière CAQ Gatineau
  Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois QS Gouin
  François Bonnardel CAQ Granby
  Eric Girard CAQ Groulx
  Alexandre Leduc QS Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
  Maryse Gaudreault Liberal Hull
  Claire IsaBelle CAQ Huntingdon
  Claire Samson CAQ Iberville
  Conservative
  Joël Arseneau PQ Îles-de-la-Madeleine
  Greg Kelley Liberal Jacques-Cartier
  Sol Zanetti QS Jean-Lesage
  Filomena Rotiroti Liberal Jeanne-Mance–Viger
  Joëlle Boutin CAQ Jean-Talon
  André Lamontagne CAQ Johnson
  Véronique Hivon PQ Joliette
  Sylvain Gaudreault PQ Jonquière
  Chantal Jeannotte CAQ Labelle
  Éric Girard CAQ Lac-Saint-Jean
  Marc Tanguay Liberal LaFontaine
  Éric Caire CAQ La Peltrie
  Gaétan Barrette Liberal La Pinière
  Nicole Ménard Liberal Laporte
  Christian Dubé CAQ La Prairie
  François Legault CAQ L'Assomption
  Andrés Fontecilla QS Laurier-Dorion
  Saul Polo Liberal Laval-des-Rapides
  Marie-Louise Tardif CAQ Laviolette–Saint-Maurice
  Lucie Lecours CAQ Les Plaines
  François Paradis CAQ Lévis
  Isabelle Lecours CAQ Lotbinière-Frontenac
  Geneviève Guilbault CAQ Louis-Hébert
  Hélène David Liberal Marguerite-Bourgeoys
  Catherine Fournier PQ Marie-Victorin
  Independent
  Enrico Ciccone Liberal Marquette
  Simon Allaire CAQ Maskinongé
  Mathieu Lemay CAQ Masson
  Pascal Bérubé PQ Matane-Matapédia
  Marie Montpetit Liberal Maurice-Richard
  François Jacques CAQ Mégantic
  Ruba Ghazal QS Mercier
  Francine Charbonneau Liberal Mille-Îles
  Sylvie D'Amours CAQ Mirabel
  Nathalie Roy CAQ Montarville
  Jean-François Simard CAQ Montmorency
  Pierre Arcand Liberal Mont-Royal–Outremont
  Monsef Derraji Liberal Nelligan
  Donald Martel CAQ Nicolet-Bécancour
  Kathleen Weil Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  Gilles Bélanger CAQ Orford
  Mathieu Lacombe CAQ Papineau
  Chantal Rouleau CAQ Pointe-aux-Trembles
  André Fortin Liberal Pontiac
  Vincent Caron CAQ Portneuf
  Marguerite Blais CAQ Prévost
  Martin Ouellet PQ René-Lévesque
  Lise Lavallée CAQ Repentigny
  Jean-Bernard Émond CAQ Richelieu
  André Bachand CAQ Richmond
  Harold LeBel PQ Rimouski
  Independent
  Denis Tardif CAQ [lower-alpha 1] Rivière-du-Loup–Témiscouata
  Carlos Leitão Liberal Robert-Baldwin
  Nancy Guillemette CAQ Roberval
  Vincent Marissal QS Rosemont
  Louis-Charles Thouin CAQ Rousseau
  Independent [lower-alpha 2]
  Émilise Lessard-Therrien QS Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue
  Geneviève Hébert CAQ Saint-François
  Dominique Anglade Liberal Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne
  Chantal Soucy CAQ Saint-Hyacinthe
  Louis Lemieux CAQ Saint-Jean
  Youri Chassin CAQ Saint-Jérôme
  Marwah Rizqy Liberal Saint-Laurent
  Manon Massé QS Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques
  Christopher Skeete CAQ Sainte-Rose
  Danielle McCann CAQ Sanguinet
  Christine Labrie QS Sherbrooke
  Marilyne Picard CAQ Soulanges
  Lionel Carmant CAQ Taillon
  Catherine Dorion QS Taschereau
  Pierre Fitzgibbon CAQ Terrebonne
  Jean Boulet CAQ Trois-Rivières
  Denis Lamothe CAQ Ungava
  Ian Lafrenière CAQ Vachon
  Mario Asselin CAQ Vanier-Les Rivières
  Marie-Claude Nichols Liberal Vaudreuil
  Suzanne Dansereau CAQ Verchères
  Isabelle Melançon Liberal Verdun
  Frantz Benjamin Liberal Viau
  Jean Rousselle Liberal Vimont
  Jennifer Maccarone Liberal Westmount–Saint-Louis

Seating plan

Last update: April 20, 2021

Note: Bold text designates the party leader, the Parti Québécois leader currently does not have a seat in the National Assembly, and Québec Solidaire's leadership is shared by Massé and Nadeau-Dubois.

Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) swear two oaths: one to the Canadian monarch as Quebec's head of state, and a second one to the people of Quebec. Previous Parti Québécois premier René Lévesque added the second oath. [7]

Most recent election

Changes during the 42nd Quebec Legislature

Number of members
per party by date
2018201920202021
Oct 2Oct 4Oct 5Dec 10Mar 11Aug 30Dec 2Dec 15Dec 17Mar 30Apr 12Jun 4Jun 15Jun 18Sep 14Nov 1
Coalition Avenir Québec 7475767574757475
Liberal 3130292827
Québec solidaire 10
Parti Québécois 10987
Conservative 01
Independent 012345456545
 Total members125124125124125
Vacant01010

Proceedings

One of the members of the National Assembly is elected as President of the Assembly (a post called speaker in most other Westminster System assemblies). Any member of the assembly is eligible to stand for election, other than party leaders and Cabinet ministers. The election is the first order of business for a newly elected assembly. It is conducted by secret ballot of all members, with successive rounds of voting if needed before one candidate gains a majority of the votes. [8]

The president of the assembly is the arbiter of the parliamentary debates between the members of the government and the members of the Opposition. In order for a member to address the assembly, the member speak through the president. The president is usually a member of the governing party.

The proceedings of the National Assembly are broadcast across Quebec on the cable television network Canal de l'Assemblée nationale.

See also

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References

Notes

  1. Sat as an independent from December 17, 2020 to April 12, 2021.
  2. Sat as an independent from March 30, 2021 to September 14, 2021.

Citations

  1. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/CONST_f.pdf
  2. An Act respecting the National Assembly , CQLR 1982, c. A-23.1, s. 2
  3. "Canadian Parliamentary Review - Article". www.revparl.ca. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  4. Useful Information – National Assembly of Quebec. Assnat.qc.ca (October 29, 2012). Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  5. "Crucifix removed from National Assembly's Blue Room". CBC News. July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  6. An Act to amend the Election Act for the purpose of establishing fixed-date elections , L.Q. 2013, c. 13, s. 3
  7. Dougherty, Kevin. "A 'government of all Quebecers,' Couillard says". The Gazette. Montreal. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  8. La procédure parliamentaire du Québec, 3e édition (Québec: Assemblée nationale du Québec, 2012), pp. 140-147.

Bibliography