Journalist and publisher
Beauchamp began his career as a financial writer for La Presse and served as assistant publisher and editor-in-chief of Le Soleil in the late 1970s. He became president and general manager of Publications Les Affaires Inc. in 1980, one year after the company purchased the business journal Les Affaires. Beauchamp relaunched the journal as a tabloid and later oversaw the company's purchase of smaller, niche-oriented papers such as Quebec Construction, Revue Commerce, Quebec Yachting, VeliMag, Voile Libre, Ski Quebec, and Sports Marketing Canada. Corporate revenues rose under Beauchamp's leadership from less than $1 million in 1980 to $13 million in 1985. He remarked on his success in November 1985, "The market was there for years, but nobody was serving it."
Beauchamp was awarded the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society's Olivar-Asselin Award for excellence in journalism in 1984. Two years later, he presided over a Montreal economic summit called by mayor Jean Drapeau. Between 1987 and 1990, he launched English-language papers entitled This Week in Business and Good Times, The Magazine for Successful Retirement, and oversaw the purchase of a French-language seniors' weekly called Le temps de vivre. He resigned as president of Publications Les Affaires Inc. in 1990.
In late 1990, Beauchamp was named as co-chair of a "rescue brigade" set up by the Quebec government via the Société de developpement industrielle du Québec to provide assistance for Quebec companies threatened by the financial downturn of the early 1990s. Beauchamp described the program as an "extraordinary success" in June 1991, saying that it had overseen loans to 158 companies.
In September 1991, Beauchamp became president of the newly formed Regroupement économie et constitution (Group for the Economy and the Constitution), an alliance of business leaders whose purpose was to promote private sector growth in a framework of renewed Canadian federalism. Beauchamp said the group would promote federalism in Quebec while also explaining Quebec's needs to the rest of Canada. He added that, in the view of his organization, "the fundamental problems of Quebec and Canada are first of all economic, not political or constitutional," and that sustained financial growth would be impossible in an unstable political climate. In December 1991, he proposed the creation of a "Council of Federation" with mixed federal and provincial representation, to oversee a new Canadian economic union.
Beauchamp participated in several forums on reforming the Canadian Constitution in 1992. On one occasion, he tried to break an impasse in negotiations on Senate reform by proposing that all provinces have an equal number of senators, with those from larger provinces having more heavily weighted votes. Beauchamp acknowledged that this proposal was "not perfect" but added that he did not want to see the entire constitutional reform package fall apart due to disagreements on this issue from various parties.
Beauchamp ultimately supported and campaigned for the Charlottetown Accord, a constitutional reform package introduced in August 1992 by the Canadian federal government of Brian Mulroney. During the 1992 referendum campaign on the accord, he argued that between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs could be lost in Quebec if the accord was defeated. The accord was ultimately defeated, both in Quebec and across Canada as a whole.
After the accord's demise, Beauchamp recommended that both the Canadian and Quebec governments embark on a major public works program, building highways and a high-speed rail connection from Quebec City to Windsor, Ontario.
There were rumours that Beauchamp would run in the 1993 Canadian federal election as either a Liberal or Progressive Conservative, but this did not come to pass. There were also rumours that he would seek to replace Robert Bourassa as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, but this too did not happen.
Montreal municipal politics
In June 1992, several leading figures in the opposition Civic Party of Montreal (CPM) urged Beauchamp to become their party's candidate for mayor in the 1994 municipal election. He declined the offer, saying that he was too busy with talks on the constitution.
Beauchamp announced in November 1993 that he would run for mayor of Montreal, not as a Civic Party candidate but as the leader of his own political movement. Supported by incumbent councillor Nick Auf der Maur and former Civic Party leader Claude Dupras, he cast himself as a reformer who could change the culture of city hall, fix the economy, and create jobs. He formally launched the Action Montreal party in February 1994, pledging to "modernize" city hall, reduce the number of civil servants, and turn some municipal services over to the private sector. After the party's creation, Beauchamp received support from incumbent councillors Gérard Legault and Vittorio Capparelli, both formerly of the Montreal Citizens' Movement (MCM).
Some of Beauchamp's opponents criticized his focus on business issues, charging that he was little more than a representative the city's business lobby. After a Le Devoir poll put him in fourth place, he withdrew from the contest in April 1994 to support Vision Montreal candidate Pierre Bourque. There were rumours that Beauchamp would run for mayor again in the 1998 municipal election, but ultimately he did not do so.
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- "Business newspapers wage fierce battle for market share," Montreal Gazette, 20 November 1985, p. 17.
- "Move over Metro -- Montreal's in economic fast lane," Toronto Star, 4 June 1986, p. 18.
- John Sewell, "The significance of the summit," Globe and Mail, 20 June 1986, p. 8.
- "GTC weekly coming Jan. 23," Montreal Gazette, 23 October 1987, p. 11; Robert Gibbens, "English business weekly planned by Montreal firm," Globe and Mail, 23 October 1987, p. 11; "Magazine industry eyes seniors," Windsor Star, 5 March 1988, p. 7; Kevin Dougherty, "GTC launches 55-plus magazine," Financial Post, 9 March 1990, p. 21.
- "Head of publishing unit quits," Montreal Gazette, 2 August 1990, p. 1.
- Barrie McKenna, "Quebec companies on the dole," Globe and Mail, 5 June 1991, p. 1.
- "RDI to Broadcast Live from the Toronto Stock Exchange," Canada NewsWire, 29 May 2001, p. 1; "Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec-Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence - Candidate submissions are open," Canada NewsWire, 15 October 2009, 12:27.
- "Claude Beauchamp, un pionnier du journalisme économique", Les Affaires et la vie, Radio-Canada, accessed 4 September 2011.
- Kevin Dougherty, "A NEW SALES TEAM FOR QUEBEC: Business leaders stand on guard for federalism," Financial Post, 6 September 1991, p. 5.
- Allan Swift, "Top businessman leads blue-chip charge to defend federalism," Montreal Gazette, 9 September 1991, p. 6; "Independence too great a risk business group claims," Ottawa Citizen, 27 September 1991, p. 2.
- John Geddes, "Business leaders call for new economic council," Financial Post, 10 December 1991, p. 3.
- Hubert Bauch, "Less is more; With `too much baggage on the constitutional bus the wheels will fall off'," Montreal Gazette, 8 February 1992, p. 5; Claude Beauchamp, "Growing signs of a ceasefire on the unity front" [editorial], Globe and Mail, 13 February 1992, p. 19; "Quebec business backs unity plan," Toronto Star, 3 March 1992, p. 1; Alan Hustak, "Unity talks will find solution federalist business leaders say," Montreal Gazette, 31 May 1992, p. 7.
- Kevin Dougherty, "How about an unequal but equal Senate?", Financial Post, 3 June 1992, p. 6; "Executives offer Senate option," Toronto Star, 3 June 1992, p. 14.
- Kevin Dougherty, "LIBERAL YOUTH REJECT UNITY DEAL: But Quebec business group wants pact ratified by yearend," Financial Post, 27 August 1992, p. 3; "Businessman favoring Yes to address," Montreal Gazette, 17 September 1992, p. 5; Kevin Dougherty, "OUI OU NON: how Quebec business leaders plan to vote," Financial Post, 25 September 1992, p. 4.
- Sandra Rubin, "`Quebec will lose jobs if No side wins'; Businessmen warn there's been a shutdown of investment here," Montreal Gazette, 13 October 1992, p. 12.
- Barrie McKenna, "'Productive expenditures' sought," Globe and Mail, 31 October 1992, p. 6.
- "How things will shake out for movers, shakers in '93," Financial Post, 2 January 1993, p. 21.
- "Quebec premier to stay on, aide says," Windsor Star, 9 January 1993, p. 4; Don Macdonald, "And they're off: Race on for helm of Quebec Liberals," Ottawa Citizen, 15 September 1993, p. 3.
- Ilana Schwartz, "Federalist urged to run for mayor," Montreal Gazette, 15 June 1992, p. 3.
- Elizabeth Thompson, "It's official - Beauchamp to run for mayor; Federalist says business people don't trust Dore," Montreal Gazette, 30 November 1993, p. 3.
- Elizabeth Thompson, "New municipal party comes out fighting; Poor city pays best salaries: Beauchamp," Montreal Gazette, 11 February 1994, p. 3; "Action Montreal gets party status," Montreal Gazette, 22 February 1994, p. 3; Elizabeth Thompson, "Turn over more municipal services to private firms: mayoral hopeful," Montreal Gazette, 4 March 1994, p. 3.
- Elizabeth Thompson, "City councillor who quit MCM; joins ranks of Action Montreal," Montreal Gazette, 23 February 1994, p. 3; Elizabeth Thompson, "Beauchamp wins support from third councillor," Montreal Gazette, 17 March 1994, p. 4.
- Richard Mackie, "Montreal mayor wants tax deal Dore prepares for election," Montreal Gazette, 23 March 1994, p. 3.
- Michelle Lalonde, "Two parties unite to unseat Dore," Montreal Gazette, 6 April 1994, p. 1.
- Konrad Yakabuski, "Pretenders to the mayor's throne line up," Globe and Mail, 28 January 1997, p. 2.