Gagnon was born in Montreal. From 1975-1980, she was a parliamentary correspondent. In 1975 she received the Olivar-Asselin Award, and has twice (in 1976 and 1982) been awarded the National Newspaper Awards prize. In 1984 she received the Salon de Montréal literary prize for her essay Vivre avec les hommes : un nouveau partage (Living with Men: A New Partnership). She has also published two collections of her columns, Chroniques politiques (Boreal, 1985) and L'esprit de contradiction (Boreal, 2010).
In her columns, Gagnon takes positions in favour of federalism and of moderate feminism. Of all Quebec's francophone columnists, she is probably Israel's most prominent defender. She has written extensively about the need to protect the French language in Quebec and Canada.
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