Paul Gérin-Lajoie

Last updated
Paul Gérin-Lajoie
Paul Gerin-Lajoie01.JPG
MNA for Vaudreuil-Soulanges
In office
Preceded by Loyola Schmidt
Succeeded by François-Edouard Belliveau
Personal details
Born(1920-02-23)February 23, 1920
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedJune 25, 2018(2018-06-25) (aged 98)
Political party Liberal
CabinetMinister of Youth (1960–1964)
Minister of Education (1964–1966)

Paul Gérin-Lajoie, CC GOQ QC (February 23, 1920 June 25, 2018) was a Canadian lawyer, philanthropist, and a former member of the National Assembly of Quebec and Cabinet Minister. [1] [2]


Early life

Born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Henri Gérin-Lajoie and Pauline Dorion, he studied at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, where he was editor of the school paper, the Université de Montréal, and Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he received a Doctor of Laws degree. He was admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1943.


He ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges in the 1956 general election and in a 1957 by-election. In 1958, he came in second at the Quebec Liberal Party leadership convention.

He was elected in Vaudreuil-Soulanges in the 1960 election and was re-elected in 1962 and 1966. From 1960 to 1964 he was the Minister of Youth in the cabinet of Jean Lesage (eventually serving as vice-premier) and in 1964 became the first person since 1875 to be appointed Minister of Education, serving in that position until 1966. [3] As Minister of Education he was the driving force behind major changes made to Quebec's education system. He did not run for re-election in 1970.

Gérin-Lajoie was president of the Canadian International Development Agency from 1970 to 1977.

He founded the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation, in 1977, an organization that has contributed to the basic education of children in the poorest countries in addition to raising awareness of these countries among primary school children in Canada. [4]


In 1966, he received an honorary doctorate from Sir George Williams University, which later became Concordia University. [5] In 1979, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada "in recognition of his distinguished services to his country, chiefly as president of the Canadian International Development Agency from 1970 to 1977, and as deputy premier and minister of education of the Government of Québec from 1960 to 1966". [6] In 1987, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec [7] and was promoted to Grand Officer in 1998. [8] In 2002, he was made a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour by the Government of France. [9] There’s a high school, named in his honour, called École Secondaire Paul-Gérin-Lajoie-d’Outremont; located in the borough of Outremont,Montreal.

Electoral record

1966 Quebec general election : Vaudreuil-Soulanges
Liberal Paul Gérin-Lajoie 11,12053.17
Union Nationale Aimé Grandmaison8,49040.60
Independent Jean-Paul Laflèche7133.41
RIN Louis Gravel4942.36
Ralliement national Régent Millette960.46
Total valid votes20,913100.00
Rejected and declined ballots280
Electors on the lists25,878

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  1. "Revolutionary education minister Paul Gerin-Lajoie dead at 98". CTV News Montreal. 2018-06-25. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  2. Laframboise, Kalina (2018-06-25). "Former Quebec education minister Paul Gérin-Lajoie dead at 98". Global News. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  3. Colpron, Suzanne (2018-06-25). "L'ancien ministre Paul Gérin-Lajoie est décédé". La Presse. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  4. Gagnon, Lysiane (May 7, 2014). "Politics? Travel expenses? In Quebec, a charity in crisis". The Globe and Mail.
  5. "Honorary Degree Citation - Paul Gérin-Lajoie". Concordia University Archives. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  6. Order of Canada citation
  7. "National Order of Quebec citation".
  8. "National Order of Quebec citation".
  9. Canada Gazette Part I, Volume 136, No. 52 Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine