||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (October 2013)|
MD PC MNA
|31st Premier of Quebec|
April 23, 2014
|Lieutenant Governor||Pierre Duchesne|
|Preceded by||Pauline Marois|
|Leader of the Official Opposition in Quebec|
December 18, 2013 – April 23, 2014
|Preceded by||Jean-Marc Fournier|
|Succeeded by||Stéphane Bédard|
|Minister of Health|
April 29, 2003 – June 25, 2008
|Preceded by||François Legault|
|Succeeded by||Yves Bolduc|
|Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party|
March 17, 2013
|Preceded by||Jean Charest|
|MNA for Jean-Talon|
|Preceded by||Margaret F. Delisle|
|Succeeded by||Yves Bolduc|
|MNA for Mont-Royal|
May 1, 2003 – 2007
|Preceded by||André Tranchemontagne|
|Succeeded by||Pierre Arcand|
|MNA for Outremont|
December 18, 2013 – 2014
|Preceded by||Raymond Bachand|
|Succeeded by||Hélène David|
|MNA for Roberval|
|Preceded by||Denis Trottier|
June 26, 1957 |
|Political party||Quebec Liberal Party|
|Residence||Édifice Price, Québec City|
|Alma mater||Université de Montréal|
|Profession||university professor, neurosurgeon|
Philippe Couillard, (born June 26, 1957) is the 31st and current Premier of Quebec, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and a former university professor and neurosurgeon in Quebec, Canada. He was elected MNA of Outremont with 55% of votes in the Outremont's by-election on December 9, 2013. In the 2014 election he moved to the riding of Roberval where he resides. Until June 25, 2008, he served as the Quebec Minister for Health and Social Services and was also MNA of Mont-Royal until he resigned in 2008 under Jean Charest's Liberal government.
Life and career
Couillard was born in Montreal, Quebec. He holds a medical degree and a certification in neurosurgery from the Université de Montréal. He was the head of the department of neurosurgery at Hôpital Saint-Luc from 1989 to 1992 and again at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke from 1996 to 2003. From 1992 to 1996, he practised in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In 2003, he left the medical profession to run for a seat in the National Assembly representing the Quebec Liberal Party. He was elected MNA for Mont-Royal in the 2003 election and was appointed Minister of Health and Social Services on April 29, 2003.
Since taking office, he proved skillful in the handling of his department's public relations and was regarded by some as the most popular minister in the Charest government. His accomplishments during his tenure included a $4.2 billion increase in the Quebec health budget, the prohibition of smoking in public places, and a reduction in the number of union local accreditations in the health sector.
Couillard announced his candidacy for the Jean-Talon riding in the Quebec City area, replacing Margaret Delisle who did not seek re-election due to health reasons. Couillard won the 2007 elections despite the Action democratique du Quebec's (ADQ) strong performance in the region in which the party gained the majority of the seats. Pierre Arcand succeeded Couillard in the Mont-Royal riding. Couillard was renamed the Health and Social Services Minister as well as the minister responsible for the provincial Capitale-Nationale (Quebec) region.
On October 3, 2012, Couillard became the third person to enter the race to succeed Jean Charest as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party. When asked why he was re-entering politics, he said, "I feel the need to serve."
Quebec Election, 2014
On March 17, 2013, Couillard became the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, beating ex-cabinet ministers Raymond Bachand and Pierre Moreau. On December 9, 2013, he was elected MNA for the riding of Outremont vacated by Bachand in a by-election.
On March 5, 2014, amid weeks of speculation that the Parti Québécois would call a snap election, Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne dropped the writs for a general election at the request of Premier Pauline Marois.
When the election campaign began, polls showed a close race between the Parti Québécois and the Liberals, however the PQ held a wide lead among francophone voters, giving the advantage in terms of seat distribution to the PQ. Couillard stated that, "his party [would] focus during the campaign on the concerns of Quebecers, including healthcare, education and jobs." He also accused Premier Pauline Marois of mismanaging Quebec's economy, saying that "Quebec is living beyond its means." He also clarified his opposition to the Quebec Charter of Values, describing it as "an unnecessary bill that succeeds only in dividing Quebecers".
The election campaign immediately centred around the issue of sovereignty with the high-profile entry of Quebec media baron Pierre Karl Peladeau into the race as a candidate for the Parti Québécois in the riding of St-Jerome. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the polls began to break heavily in the favour of Couillard and the Liberals as the PQ began to bleed support to all 3 major opposition parties. Most analysts agreed that Couillard had a strong performance during the first televised leaders' debate. During the second televised leaders' debate with a week to go in the campaign, Couillard was on the defensive as he held a sizeable lead over the other party leaders in the polls. His second debate performance was not as strong as his first one, and he was criticized by both Pauline Marois and Francois Legault of the CAQ for suggesting that a factory worker in Quebec ought to be bilingual in the event that an Anglophone businessperson was to walk on the floor. While his comment was portrayed by his critics as proof that he was soft on the French language issue, his poll numbers continued to exceed those of his opponents.
On April 7, Couillard led the Quebec Liberals to 70 seats in the National Assembly and a return to government a mere 19 months after being ousted in one of their poorest election showings in the party's history.  On election night, Couillard stressed the importance of creating a better business climate in Quebec and doing away with some of the divisive policies that characterized Pauline Marois' tenure as Premier. He also pledged to work cooperatively with other provinces and the federal government and to reassert Quebec's place as a leader in the Canadian federation.
|Quebec provincial by-election, December 9, 2013|
|Québec solidaire||Édith Laperle||3,264||32.23||+14.21|
|Option nationale||Julie Surprenant||677||6.68||+4.97|
|Conservative||Pierre Ennio Crespi||145||1.43||–|
|Parti nul||Mathieu Marcil||59||0.58||-0.34|
|Autonomist Team||Guy Boivin||17||0.17||–|
|Total valid votes||10,128||99.13||–|
|Total rejected ballots||89||0.87||–|
|Electors on the lists||38,671||–||–|
|Quebec general election, 2007: Jean-Talon|
|Parti québécois||Véronique Hivon||9,859||30.13||-5.23|
|Action démocratique||Luc de la Sablonnière||6,056||18.51||+3.34|
|Québec solidaire||Bill Clennett||1,463||4.47||+2.95*|
|Christian Democracy||Francis Denis||95||0.29||-|
* Increase is from UFP
|Quebec general election, 2003: Mont-Royal|
|Parti Québécois||Vincent Gagnon||3,465||13.34||+0.60|
|Action démocratique||Nour-Eddine Hajibi||1,240||4.77||+1.23|
Premier of Quebec
Returning the Liberal Party of Quebec back to a majority government, after an eighteen month stint led by Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois, Philippe Couillard assumed office on April 23, 2014, naming 26 ministers to his cabinet.
- Le Devoir. "Ministère — Un réseau en santé... relative". Retrieved October 6, 2006.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces appointments to the Security Intelligence Review Committee
- Philippe Couillard announces bid to lead Quebec Liberals
- Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard wins byelection to get legislature seat
- "Quebec Election 2014: Pauline Marois Sets Date For April 7". The Huffington Post. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "Philippe Couillard unveils new Liberal cabinet". CBC News. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
|Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party
|Minister of Health and Social Services