Neil Gaudry

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Neil Gaudry (September 19, 1937 – February 18, 1999) was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1988 until his death, sitting as a Liberal.[1]

The son of Véronique Chartrand and Ernest Gaudry, he was born in St. Laurent, Manitoba and was educated there. In 1962, he married Leona Rainville.[2] Before entering public life, Gaudry worked as an accountant and office manager. He was the secretary-treasurer of Malcolm Construction Ltd. for twenty-five years,[3] and was active in the community of Interlake before moving to Winnipeg in his later years.

Gaudry was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in the provincial election of 1988, in the Winnipeg riding of St. Boniface.[1] This historically francophone riding had been represented by Laurent Desjardins almost continuously since 1959; originally a Liberal, Desjardins crossed to the New Democratic Party in 1969 and was re-elected four times under that party's banner. Desjardins retired in 1988 when the Manitoba NDP was experiencing a sharp decline in popularity, and Gaudry recaptured St. Boniface for the Liberals with well over 50% of the vote. The election was won by the Progressive Conservatives, and Gaudry joined 19 other Liberals in the official opposition.

Gaudry was easily elected again in the 1990 election, with only a slightly reduced plurality. His share of the popular vote fell to below 50% in the provincial election of 1995,[4] but he was still re-elected fairly easily, despite the Liberals winning only two other seats in the rest of the province.

The Manitoba Liberal Party experienced internal divisions in 1997, due to disgruntlement with the leadership of Ginny Hasselfield. At one stage, Kevin Lamoureux and Gary Kowalski broke from the official party caucus to sit as Independent Liberals; Gaudry was the only Liberal MLA to continue supporting the official party leadership during this period.[5]

Neil Gaudry died of a heart attack on February 18, 1999,[4] while attending the Festival du Voyageur in St. Boniface[2] and the legislature passed a motion of condolence in his memory on April 26 of the same year.[3]

Gaudry frequently championed francophone causes during his time in the legislature. He sought to have Louis Riel recognized as a Father of Confederation, and was an active member in l'Assemblee internationale des parlementaires de la langue francaise. Despite partisan differences, he also assisted the Progressive Conservative government of Gary Filmon on matters relating to francophone education.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  2. ^ a b Dufault, Gabriel. "Neil Gaudry, M.L.A. (1937-1999)". Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hansard". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. April 26, 1999. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  4. ^ a b "Manitoba Votes 2007". CBC News. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  5. ^ Adams, Christopher (2009). Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders, and Voters. University of Manitoba Press. p. 95. ISBN 0887553559. Retrieved 2014-04-30.