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1958 - 1969



June 10, 1912 in Montréal


December 12, 1908 in Sillery

Party Leader

May 31, 1958 to August 28, 1969


July 05, 1960 to June 16, 1966

Jean Lesage shaped the modern face of Quebec. He began the undertaking of an ambitious social reform program that would forever be known as the Quiet Revolution. The Lesage Liberal government established hospital insurance, the Régie des rentes du Québec, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, powerful tools to drive economic development. It, along with its dream team, also nationalized electricity, another fundamental economic generator.

Born in Montréal, Jean Lesage was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1934, and was acted as Crown Prosecutor from 1939 to 1944.

He was first elected as a Liberal Member of the House of Commons from 1945 to 1958, where he carried out important ministerial duties. He became Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1958 and was elected head of a Liberal government in June 1960, thereby ending the 16-year reign of the Union Nationale.

Loyal to Liberal concerns of the past century, the government created a Ministry of Education, spearheading collective enrichment. Premier Lesage can also be credited with founding the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 1961, which contributed to raising Quebec’s international profile.

He died in Sillery on December 12, 1980, at the age of 68.



Nationalization of power companies

May 01, 1963

Under Jean Lesage’s Liberal government, Quebec’s power generation and distribution companies were nationalized. They were absorbed by Hydro-Québec, which had been created in 1944 by Godbout’s Liberal government to begin the first phase of nationalization of the province’s electricity and gas companies.

Establishment of the ministère de l'Éducation (Ministry of education) and the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation (Superior Council of Education)

May 13, 1964

With Bill 60’s entry into force under Jean Lesage’s Liberal government, the ministère de l’Éducation and the Conseil supérieur de l'Éducation were created. Among other things, this modernization of the Quebec education system promoted equal access to postsecondary education.