Françoise Boivin

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Not to be confused with François Boivin or François de Boivin.
Françoise Boivin
LL.B., MP
Françoise Boivin.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Gatineau
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 30, 2011
Preceded by Richard Nadeau
In office
June 28, 2004 – January 23, 2006
Preceded by Mark Assad
Succeeded by Richard Nadeau
Personal details
Born (1960-06-11) June 11, 1960 (age 54)
Hull, Quebec
Political party Liberal (2004-2008)
New Democratic (2008-present)
Residence Gatineau
Profession Lawyer

Françoise Boivin (born June 11, 1960 in Hull, Quebec) is a Canadian politician, who represents the electoral district of Gatineau in the House of Commons of Canada.

She first represented the district from 2004 to 2006 as a member of the Liberal Party, but was defeated in the 2006 election by Richard Nadeau of the Bloc Québécois. She subsequently left the Liberals and ran to reclaim her seat in the 2008 election as a New Democratic Party candidate,[1] but was narrowly defeated by Nadeau. She was re-elected to Parliament as a New Democrat in the 2011 election.

Studies, early career and community involvement[edit]

Françoise Boivin has degrees in social sciences and civil law from the University of Ottawa.

Boivin has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1984. She began her legal career with Beaudry, Bertrand and subsequently co-founded the law firm Letellier & Associés. During this time, she also taught, and was in charge of the negotiation sector, at the Quebec Bar training school.

In September 1998, Boivin hosted a public affairs program on CJRC. She was subsequently asked to host a number of other programs for CJRC-1150 and for Canal Vox. During the times of increasing price of gas, she asked her radio listeners to boycott Petro-Canada to push the country's national fuel company to decrease its prices.

In 2000, she set up her own firm where she works mainly in the area of labour law.

Boivin has participated in many fundraising activities to help agencies such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Outaouais Alzheimer’s Society, and the Foundation for Heart Disease (Outaouais). She has also worked closely with various support and network agencies helping women and seniors.

Liberal politician[edit]

In 2004, Boivin, a longtime Liberal supporter, won her party's nomination for Gatineau. She defeated Bloc candidate Richard Nadeau by only two percentage points, an unusually close margin for what has historically been a strongly federalist riding. She made a breakthrough in politics as newly elected Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) by being one of the first to openly oppose the US missile defence system, a point of view that ultimately became the official position of Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Françoise Boivin was also chosen to be the official seconder to the 2004 Speech from the Throne in October of that year. She was a member of the Committee on Bill C-38 to provide legal recognition of same-sex marriage, which she supported. In Parliament, she was a member of the Subcommittee on Parliamentary Privilege and the Liberal Committee on Cities and Communities. She was also part of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and the Standing Committee on Finance.

She was named "Rookie of the Year" by Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star, and was one of the rare MPs to have never missed a vote in the House of Commons. As a member of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs which studied the topic of Electoral Reform, on May 17, 2005, when Ed Broadbent proposed a detailed resolution that the government launch a process of electoral reform, she immediately stated that she fully concurred with his resolution, which formed the basis for the Committee's Report the next month. She also served as chair of the Liberal Women's Caucus.

Boivin was narrowly defeated by Nadeau in the January 23, 2006 federal election. She remained active within the Liberal Party, backing Michael Ignatieff during the 2006 Liberal Party leadership campaign and as media specialist for the Liberal Women's Commission (Quebec).

Move to the NDP[edit]

On February 25, 2008, Boivin announced that she would seek to regain her old seat, this time as the candidate of the NDP. She opted to leave the Liberals after learning they planned to have a "star candidate" parachute into the riding. However, she said that her views were more aligned with those of the NDP than the Liberals. She had been a prominent member of the Liberals' left wing, and voted against stated Liberal policy five or six times during her initial stint in Parliament.[2] She was formally welcomed to the party on June 17 at a press conference that included NDP leader Jack Layton and deputy leader/Quebec lieutenant Thomas Mulcair.[3]

As an indication of her popularity, Boivin came in a very close second during the 40th Canadian Election in October 2008, beating the Liberal and distant Conservative candidates and challenging incumbent Nadeau very late into election night for the final result. At 29.1%, Nadeau received the lowest share of the popular vote of any candidate elected in that election.

Between elections[edit]

Boivin practiced labour law at her own law firm and was strongly involved in Outaouais community activities and associations. She was an advisory member of the committee for the President of the Women's Business Network (RÉFAP) and a guest speaker at the Public Service Commission Management School. She appeared weekly on television as host of La Vérité choc with Roger Blanchette and Le Témoin est à vous on Canal Vox, and as a news commentator on the Denis Lévesque broadcast on LCN and TVA.

At its November 2008 convention, Boivin was elected president of the Quebec Section of the federal NDP, a position she occupied until November 2010.[4]

2011 election[edit]

Boivin once again ran as the NDP candidate in her old riding of Gatineau during the 41st Canadian election. In the May 2, 2011 election, she won with 61.8% of the vote as part of the massive NDP tsunami that swept across Quebec, finishing 27,000 votes ahead of Nadeau.

41st Parliament[edit]

On May 26, 2011 Layton named Boivin critic for the Status of Women. On September 20, 2011, interim Opposition Leader Nycole Turmel also named her Deputy Critic for Justice. Boivin also co-chaired the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations with Conservative Senator Bob Runciman. In April 2012, newly elected NDP leader Mulcair named her critic for Justice.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Françoise Boivin 35,262 61,8%
Bloc Québécois Richard Nadeau 8,619 15,1%
Liberal Steve MacKinnon 7,975 14%
Conservative Jennifer Gearey 4,532 7,9%
Green Jonathan Meijer 639 1,1%
Total valid votes/Expense limit 100.00%

Source: Elections Canada

Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Bloc Québécois Richard Nadeau 15,050 29.13% -10.11%
New Democratic Françoise Boivin 13,467 26.07% +16.11%
Liberal Michel Simard 13,111 25.38% -5.92%
Conservative Denis Tassé 8,700 16.84% +0.07%
Green David Inglis 1,334 2.58% -0.12%
Total valid votes 51,462 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout  %
     Bloc Québécois hold Swing -13.11%
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Bloc Québécois Richard Nadeau 21,093 39.25% -1.02%
Liberal Françoise Boivin 16,826 31.31% -10.78%
Conservative Patrick Robert 9,014 16.77% +9.19%
New Democratic Anne Levesque 5,354 9.96% +4.24%
Green Gail Walker 1,456 2.71% -0.36%
Total valid votes 53,743 100.00


Canadian federal election, 2004: Gatineau
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Françoise Boivin 19,198 42.09 $46,713
     Bloc Québécois Richard Nadeau 18,368 40.27 $19,466
     Conservative Gérald Nicolas 3,461 7.59 not listed
     New Democratic Party Dominique Vaillancourt 2,610 5.72 none listed
Green Brian Gibb 1,402 3.07 $144
Marijuana Stephane Salko 453 0.99 none listed
     Marxist-Leninist Gabriel Girard-Bernier 125 0.27 none listed
Total valid votes/Expenditure limit 45,617 100.00 $80,437
Total rejected ballots 602
Turnout 46,219 56.61
Electors on the lists 81,644
Percentage change figures are factored for redistribution. Conservative Party percentages are contrasted with the combined Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative percentages from 2000.
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

References[edit]

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