Daniel Boucher (politician)

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Daniel Boucher is a politician in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He served on the Montreal city council from 1994 to 1998, originally as a member of Vision Montreal and later as an independent. Boucher has also sought election to the Canadian House of Commons and the National Assembly of Quebec.

Early life and career[edit]

Boucher was a bus driver for a seniors' residence in the early 1990s.[1] A Quebec sovereigntist, he was an early supporter of the Bloc Québécois in Canadian federal politics.[2]

Early bids for public office[edit]

While supporting the Bloc Québécois at the federal level, Boucher ran as a New Democratic Party of Quebec (NDP) candidate for a 1992 provincial by-election in the Montreal division of Anjou. (Former Front de libération du Québec militant Paul Rose had planned to seek the party's nomination for this contest, but could not do so as he was on parole from a life sentence for the murder of Quebec politician Pierre Laporte.) The Quebec NDP was not affiliated with the New Democratic Party of Canada in this period, and the federal party openly dissociated itself from the Quebec NDP during the by-election.[3] Boucher finished a distant third against Parti Québécois candidate Pierre Bélanger.

Boucher later ran as a Bloc Québécois candidate in the 1993 Canadian federal election for the Montreal division of Papineau—Saint-Michel. Some pundits believed he had a reasonable chance of winning, though on election day he finished second against Liberal incumbent André Ouellet. Boucher was thirty-six years old during this election and identified as a social worker.[4]

Municipal politician[edit]

Boucher was elected to the Montreal city council in the 1994 municipal election as a candidate of Pierre Bourque's Vision Montreal party, defeating Montreal Citizens' Movement incumbent Micheline Daigle in the Jean-Rivard division.[5] He served for the next two years as a backbench supporter of Bourque's administration and chaired the city's finance and economic-development committee. He shelved a proposal to charge full taxes on churches and religious institutions 1996, arguing that he would wait for the provincial government's direction on the issue.[6]

In an interview published by the Montreal Gazette on June 15, 1996, Boucher said that several members of Vision Montreal had concerns about the party's internal management and believed too much power was invested in the mayor and the Montreal executive committee. He added that he was not planning to resign from the party and that Bourque had been receptive to his criticism.[7] Only ten days later, however, he and fellow councillor Hubert Deraspe left the party to sit as independents. In making this decision, Boucher remarked that "all the qualified people [had] left Vision Montreal" and that it was "a party in name only."[8]

Boucher and Deraspe later accused Bourque of trying to buy the support of disgruntled councillors by introducing a council pay increase,[9] and, when allegations surfaced about illegal fundraising by Vision Montreal, they sought to persuade Vision councillors to defect to the opposition.[10] In January 1998, Boucher introduced a motion of censure against Bourque and executive committee chair Noushig Eloyan.[11]

Also in January 1998, Boucher joined an informal opposition alliance called the Coalition for Montreal's Future, led by fellow ex-Vision councillor Sammy Forcillo.[12] Boucher served as the group's critic for municipal services, with a focus on sports and leisure.[13]

Boucher ran as an independent candidate in the 1998 municipal election and lost to Vision Montreal's Nicole Roy-Arcelin.[14] He attempted to return to council in the 2001 election as a candidate of Gérald Tremblay's Montreal Island Citizens' Union, but lost to Vision candidate Frank Venneri.

Electoral record[edit]

2001 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Jean-Rivard
1998 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Jean-Rivard division
1994 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Jean-Rivard


Canadian federal election, 1993: Papineau—Saint-Michel
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal André Ouellet 20,064 51.98 +5.99 $41,411
     Bloc Québécois Daniel Boucher 15,148 39.24 $18,649
     Progressive Conservative Carmen de Pontbriand 1,686 4.37 -28.86 $26,388a
     New Democratic Party Gisèle Charlebois 708 1.83 -13.27 $477
     Natural Law André Beaudoin 678 1.76 $386
     Marxist-Leninist Serge Lachapelle 141 0.37 -0.12 $80
     Abolitionist P.A. D'Aoust 98 0.25 $0
     Commonwealth Normand Normandeau 78 0.20 -0.24 $0
Total valid votes 38,601 100.00
Total rejected ballots 1,241
Turnout 39,842 75.45 +5.31
Electors on the lists 52,808
a Does not include unpaid claims.

Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from the official contributions and expenses submitted by the candidates, provided by Elections Canada.
Quebec provincial by-election, January 20, 1992: Anjou
Party Candidate Votes %
Parti Québécois Pierre Bélanger 8,619 52.14
Liberal Charlotte Goudreault 7,342 44.41
New Democratic Daniel Boucher 283 1.71
Independent Patrice Fortin 143 0.87
United Social Credit Emilien Martel 61 0.37
N/A (Communist League) Michel Prairie 45 0.27
Independent Jolly Taylor 38 0.23
Total valid votes 16,531 98.73
Total rejected ballots 213 1.27
Turnout 16,744 57.65
Electors 29,043
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NDP selects candidate for Anjou," Montreal Gazette, 18 December 1991, p. 3; Harvey Shepherd, "Voters go to the polls in Anjou by-election," Montreal Gazette, 20 January 1992, p. 3.
  2. ^ "Candidate picked," Globe and Mail, 18 December 1991, p. 7.
  3. ^ "Ex-FLQ terrorist Rose won't run in byelection," Waterloo Region Record, 18 December 1991, p. 3.
  4. ^ "The 50 tight races," Toronto Star, 23 October 1993, p. 1; Paul Wells, "Ouellet chalks up eighth-straight win in St. Michel," Montreal Gazette, 26 October 1993, p. 9.
  5. ^ "Voting results: the final count," Montreal Gazette, 8 November 1994, p. 4.
  6. ^ "City shelves plan to collect taxes on religious properties," Montreal Gazette, 10 May 1996, p. 3.
  7. ^ Michelle Lalonde, "Bourque's wilting Vision," Montreal Gazette, 15 June 1996, p. 1.
  8. ^ Aaron Derfel, "Bourque loses 2 councillors: Mayor's party is finished, Vision defector says," Montreal Gazette, 26 June 1996, p. 1.
  9. ^ Aaron Derfel, "Bourque defends $6,000-a-year raise for six city councillors Montreal," Montreal Gazette, 11 September 1996, p. 3.
  10. ^ Aaron Derfel, "Bourque expected back at work today: Mayor has kept low profile since fundraising allegations surfaced," Montreal Gazette, 26 November 1996, p. 3; Aaron Derfel, "No charges against mayor: Party faces 7 new counts of misusing funds," Montreal Gazette, 21 January 1997, p. 1.
  11. ^ "Bad day for councillor who sought reprimand," Montreal Gazette, 21 January 1998, p. 5. The title refers to Boucher suffering minor injuries after slipping on a patch of ice.
  12. ^ "Daviau courts Jedwab as running mate," Montreal Gazette, 28 January 1998, p. 7.
  13. ^ "6 councillors form `shadow cabinet'," Montreal Gazette, 2 February 1998, p. 4.
  14. ^ Linda Gyulai, "Independents' day?: Unaffiliated candidates could wield power," Montreal Gazette, 6 October 1998, p. 1; Linda Gyulai, "Council veterans clean out desks," Montreal Gazette, 3 November 1998, p. 8.