Mario Beaulieu (politician)
|Leader of the Bloc Québécois|
June 25, 2014
|Preceded by||Daniel Paillé|
|80th President of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montreal|
|Preceded by||Jean Dorion|
|Succeeded by||Maxime Laporte|
|Born||1959/1960 (age 54–55)
|Political party||Bloc Québécois,
Mario Beaulieu (born 1959/1960) is a Quebecois nationalist and leader of the Bloc Québécois. He was the president of the sovereigntist Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal from 2009 to 2014, and has been the spokesperson for the Mouvement Québec français, a coalition of organizations in favour of the preservation and defence of the French language in Quebec.
Bealieu was the president of the Parti Québécois's riding association in Montreal Centre from 1997 to 2002 and was an unsuccessful Bloc Québécois candidate in the 1997 federal election, losing to federal cabinet minister Pierre Pettigrew in Papineau—Saint-Denis. He has been a long-time advocate for strengthening measures requiring the predominance of the French language in Québec and for Quebec independence.
In April 2014, he declared his candidacy for the leadership of the Bloc Québécois and received the endorsement of the executive of the Bloc's youth wing, former Parti Québécois legislative members Bernard Landry and Pierre Curzi, and the former president of the Mouvement Desjardins, Claude Béland. Beaulieu, viewed as a "hardline" sovereigntist, promised to prioritize achieving Quebec independence above everything else. On June 14, 2014, he defeated BQ Member of Parliament André Bellavance for the Bloc leadership with 53.5% of the vote. Beaulieu took office as Bloc leader at the party's convention on June 25, 2014.
Shortly after his election, Beaulieu attracted controversy from within the party due to statements in his acceptance speech associated with the Front de libération du Québec and separate statements seemingly critical about the past leaders of the party, which drew criticism from former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe and resulted in two party members announcing their intentions to leave the party. In the weeks following his election, a number of riding executive members quit the party to protest Beualieu's leadership and a number of individuals who had been considering running for the party in the next election have removed themselves from consideration. On August 12, 2014, the party's parliamentary caucus was reduced to 3 MPs after House Leader Jean-François Fortin quit the party to sit as an Independent MP. Fortin accused Beaulieu of "pushing a unidimensional, intransigent agenda that lacks rigour has put an end to the credibility established by (former leaders) Gilles Duceppe and followed up by Daniel Paillé, two leaders who merit great respect.” On August 25, 2014, André Bellavance, who had lost to Beaulieu in the leadership vote also resigned, reducing the Bloc to two MPs. Bellavance told a press conference, in regards to Beaulieu: “His vision and orientation for the Bloc are diametrically opposed to mine. Mr. Beaulieu says he can unite the party; for me it’s not the case.”
|Canadian federal election, 1997: Papineau—Saint-Denis|
|Bloc Québécois||Mario Beaulieu||14,083||28.91||$25,032|
|Progressive Conservative||Yannis Felemegos||6,227||12.78||$19,274|
|New Democratic Party||Gaby Kombé||1,196||2.45||$3,030|
|N/A (Communist League)||Michel Dugré||471||0.97||$270|
|Total valid votes||48,718||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||1,676|
|Electors on the lists||66,706|
|Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and official contributions and expenses submitted by the candidates, provided by Elections Canada.|
- "Mario Beaulieu élu chef du Bloc québécois". La Presse. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Pilon-Larose, Hugo. "Mario Beaulieu se présente à la direction du Bloc québécois". La Presse. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Plusieurs jeunes bloquistes signent une lettre d'appui à André Bellavance". La Nouvelle Union. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- "Mario Beaulieu named new Bloc Québécois leader". June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Bloc Quebecois chooses Mario Beaulieu as new leader as federal party rebuilds". Vancouver Sun. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Bloc Québécois members quit over new leader Mario Beaulieu". CBC News. June 15, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- "Bloc Quebecois MP quits to sit as independent, says new leader is trying to radicalize the party". National Post. August 12, 2014.
- "Another Bloc MP quits party, leaving only two in Parliament". Globe and Mail. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "MP André Bellavance leaves Bloc Québécois Will spend the rest of his term as an independent". Montreal Gazette. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.