A brilliant orator and talented strategist, Honoré Mercier became Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1883 and Quebec Premier on January 29, 1887.
Born in 1840, he was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1865 and rapidly gained notoriety as a lawyer and Editor of the Courrier de Sainte-Hyacinthe newspaper. He also wrote for the Montreal daily Le Temps.
In October 1887, he convened the first interprovincial conference to discuss provincial autonomy and federal subsidies. He also gave the impetus to the settling of Quebec’s heartland by creating the Quebec department of Agriculture and Colonization in 1888, all the while supporting the expansion of the railways and an expanding dairy industry.
He was re-elected Premier in 1891.