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Quebec Premier Pauline Marois


Updated: 09/19/12

About Pauline Marois:

Pauline Marois, Leader of the separatist Parti Québécois (PQ) in Quebec, is the first female leader of any political party in Quebec. In the 2012 Quebec provincial election she topped that by leading the PQ to win a minority government and becoming the first female premier of Quebec. A social worker by profession, Pauline Marois has been a member of the Parti Québécois for more than 30 years and has decades of cabinet experience in many different portfolios, including finance and education. She also served as Deputy Premier in the Bernard Landry administration. She retired from politics in 2006, but was persuaded to return after the PQ's poor results in the 2007 Quebec election.

For much of her leadership, Pauline Marois has been dealing with a fractious party, and steered it away from emphasis on a sovereignty referendum, at least temporarily. She made it very clear during the 2012 election campaign, however, that her objective is to achieve sovereignty, and that the PQ will hold a sovereignty referendum just as soon as they think they can win it. She told the Globe and Mail that in the meantime "Ottawa will have to treat Quebec like a nation – not a province – and give it full authority over jurisdictions such as language, culture and the employment insurance program." A minority government puts serious contraints on how far she can go with those tactics.

Premier of Quebec:

2012 to present


March 29, 1949 in Quebec City, Quebec


  • BA - Social Services - Université Laval, Quebec
  • MBA - L'École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Montreal

Professional Background of Pauline Marois:

  • Social Worker
  • Consultant in Social Services
  • Professor

Political Affiliation:

Parti Québécois

Ridings (Electoral Districts):

  • La Peltrie (1981-85)
  • Taillon (1989-2006)
  • Charlevoix (2007 to present)

Political Career of Pauline Marois:

  • Pauline Marois was press attaché to the Minister of Finance in Quebec from 1978 to 1979.

  • She was Chief of Staff to the Minister of State for the Status of Women in 1979.

  • Pauline Marois was first elected to the National Assembly for the PQ in the riding of La Peltrie in 1981.

  • Premier René Levesque appointed her Minister responsible for the Status of Women in 1983 and Minister of Labour in 1985.

  • In 1985, Pauline Marois ran in the leadership race to replace René Levesque. Pierre-Marc Johnson won.

  • In the 1985 Quebec provincial election, the Liberals won and Pauline Marois lost her seat.

  • In the 1989 Quebec provincial election, Pauline Marois was elected in the riding of Taillon. She became Official Opposition critic for Industry and Trade. In 1991 she was appointed critic for Public Administration.

  • In 1994, with the Parti Québécois back in power under Jacques Parizeau, Pauline Marois was appointed Minister for Administration and the Public Service and Minister responsible for Family.

  • In 1995, she was appointed Minister of Finance and Minister of Revenue.

  • When Lucien Bouchard took over as leader of the Parti Québécois in 1996, he appointed Pauline Marois as Minister of Education and Minister for Family Policy.

  • She was appointed Minister of Child and Family Welfare in 1997.

  • Re-elected in 1998, Pauline Marois was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services and Minister of Child and Family Welfare.

  • In 2001 Lucien Bouchard resigned and was succeeded as leader of the PQ and Quebec Premier by Bernard Landry.

  • Pauline Marois became Deputy Premier. At the same time she took on the positions of Minister of Finance and Minister of Research, Science and Technology. A few months later, she added Social Economics to her portfolios.

  • In the 2003 Quebec provincial election, Pauline Marois was re-elected, but the Parti Québécois was defeated. Pauline Marois became Opposition critic for Education.

  • In 2005, when Bernard Landry resigned, Pauline Marois again ran for the party leadership. She was beaten by André Boisclair.

  • In March 2006, Pauline Marois announced she was leaving politics.

  • When André Boisclair resigned after the PQ's poor results in the 2007 Quebec provincial election, Pauline Marois was persuaded to return to take over the Parti Québécois leadership.

  • She was elected to the National Assembly in Charlevoix in a by-election later in 2007.

  • In the 2008 Quebec provincial election she led the PQ back to Official Opposition status.

  • In the 2012 Quebec provincial election, Pauline Marois led the PQ to a minority government. She was sworn in as Premier of Quebec on September 19, 2012, replacing Liberal Jean Charest, and becoming the first woman Premier of Quebec.

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