Pierre Claude Nolin
Pierre Claude Nolin
|Senator for De Salaberry, Quebec|
June 18, 1993
|Appointed by||Brian Mulroney|
|Preceded by||Jean-Marie Poitras|
October 30, 1950 |
|Political party||Progressive Conservative (1993-2004)
Life before politics
Nolin was born in Montreal, Quebec, and attended the University of Ottawa. He received a Degree in Law in 1975. In 1976, Nolin married Camille Desjardins. They have three children—Simon, Louis and Virginie. Nolin was a key Quebec backroom supporter and organizer for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney beginning with Mulroney's first attempt to become Progressive Conservative party leader in 1976. He was appointed to the Canadian Senate at Mulroney's recommendation on June 18, 1993.
For ten years, Nolin worked actively as a high-profile member of the PC Party Senate Caucus. In 2002, Nolin raised eyebrows by chairing the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs and supporting its recommendations to legalize but not decriminalize the use of marijuana in Canada. Nolin supported the merger of the PC Party and the Canadian Alliance in 2003 that created the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). Nolin supported auto-parts magnate Belinda Stronach during the 2004 CPC leadership election.
Between former Tory MP André Bachand's departure from politics in June 2004 and January 2006, Nolin surreptitiously became the "Quebec strongman" in the new Conservative Party's parliamentary caucus. Nolin is largely seen as an influential Red Tory, which is in line with most of the Conservatives who have come from Quebec in recent decades. In January 2005, Nolin announced that the Quebec wing of the CPC would be introducing several "moderate" principles to the March 2005 CPC Policy Convention in Montreal, including a motion to support the rights of married same-sex couples to equal status in the courts of law. Many of the new Tory party's Quebec-wing motions passed, but with amendments. In the Canadian federal election, 2006, the new Tories managed to elect 10 MPs from Quebec, that party's best showing since 1988. With the greater Quebec representation in the party's caucus, Nolin has returned to playing a more supportive role as a Senator in the new Conservative government. He will not reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 until 2025.