André Ouellet

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André Ouellet
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
May 13, 1995 – January 24, 1996
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byLloyd Axworthy
Secretary of State for External Affairs
In office
November 4, 1993 – May 13, 1995
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byPerrin Beatty
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of Labour
In office
August 12, 1983 – September 17, 1984
Prime MinisterPierre Trudeau
John Turner
Preceded byCharles Caccia
Succeeded byBill McKnight
Minister of Public Works
In office
November 24, 1978 – June 3, 1979
Prime MinisterPierre Trudeau
Preceded byJ. Judd Buchanan
Succeeded byErik Nielsen
Member of Parliament
for Papineau
In office
May 29, 1967 – March 25, 1996
Preceded byGuy Favreau
Succeeded byPierre Pettigrew
Personal details
Born (1939-04-06) April 6, 1939 (age 83)
Political partyLiberal

André Ouellet (French: [ɑ̃dʁe wɛlɛt]), PC KC (born April 6, 1939) is a former longtime Liberal federal politician and Cabinet member in Canada. Following his political career, he served as chairman of Canada Post.

First elected to the House of Commons of Canada in a 1967 by-election, Ouellet served in a number of different positions in the cabinets of Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien. In his capacity as Registrar General of Canada, he was one of the four signatories of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act of 1982 (along with Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Trudeau, and Justice Minister Jean Chrétien). Ouellet represented the safe Liberal seat of Papineau in Montreal for almost thirty years. His hold on the seat was only seriously threatened when the Liberals were crushed by the Progressive Conservative Party in the election of 1984, when he retained his seat by only 500 votes. In opposition, Ouellet became the Liberal's leading figure in the constitutional negotiations that led to the Charlottetown Accord, and was a strong advocate for the constitutional reform proposal, which was rejected in a 1992 referendum.

With the return to power of the Liberals after the 1993 election, Ouellet was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by the new prime minister, Jean Chrétien. Ouellet was seen as lacking experience in international relations but was a principled and pragmatic Minister of Foreign Affairs.[1] Despite his experience, Ouellet was not popular in Quebec, and the lasting legacy of the Charlottetown Accord hurt him. After the close result of the 1995 Quebec referendum, Chrétien wanted to present a new face of his government in Quebec. In 1996, Chrétien appointed Ouellet to head the Canada Post Corporation. Ouellet's seat in the House of Commons of Canada was taken by Pierre Pettigrew in a by-election later that year.

As cabinet minister, Ouellet had served as Postmaster General. As chairman of Canada Post, he implemented reform that led to record profits in the corporation. In 2004, controversy surrounded Ouellet as Canada Post was one of the organizations embroiled in the Sponsorship Scandal. As a result, Ouellet was suspended from his position at Canada Post in February 2004 by Prime Minister Paul Martin. He resigned as chairman of Canada Post on August 12, 2004, after it was revealed that he failed to provide invoices for hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenses, and that he handed out untendered contracts.[2]

Electoral record (partial)[edit]

1993 Canadian federal election: Papineau—Saint-Michel
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal André Ouellet 20,064 51.98 +5.99 $41,411
  Bloc Québécois Daniel Boucher 15,148 39.24 $18,649
  Progressive Conservative Carmen de Pontbriand 1,686 4.37 −28.86 $26,388a
  New Democratic Party Gisèle Charlebois 708 1.83 −13.27 $477
  Natural Law André Beaudoin 678 1.76 $386
  Marxist-Leninist Serge Lachapelle 141 0.37 −0.12 $80
  Abolitionist P.A. D'Aoust 98 0.25 $0
  Commonwealth Normand Normandeau 78 0.20 −0.24 $0
Total valid votes 38,601 100.00
Total rejected ballots 1,241
Turnout 39,842 75.45 +5.31
Electors on the lists 52,808
a Does not include unpaid claims.

Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from the official contributions and expenses submitted by the candidates, provided by Elections Canada.
1988 Canadian federal election: Papineau
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal André Ouellet 18,122 45.99 $43,413
Progressive Conservative Frank Venneri 13,094 33.23 $39,468
New Democratic Giovanni Adamo 5,948 15.10 $22,192
Rhinoceros Carole Ola Clermont 987 2.51 $0
Green H. Joseph Vega 469 1.19 $0
Communist Line Chabot 235 0.60 $18
Marxist–Leninist Francine Tremblay 193 0.49 $130
Revolutionary Workers League Michel Dugré 178 0.45 $513
Commonwealth of Canada Normand Bélanger 174 0.44 $0
Total valid votes 39,400 100.00
Total rejected ballots 907
Turnout 40,307 70.14
Electors on the lists 57,470
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-fourth General Election, 1988.
1984 Canadian federal election: Papineau
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal André Ouellet 12,754 38.99
Progressive Conservative Tony Iacobaccio 12,053 36.85
New Democratic Paul Comtois 4,295 13.13
Rhinoceros Christian Jolicoeur 1,925 5.89
Parti nationaliste Gilles Maillé 1,169 3.57
Communist Suzanne Dagenais 147 0.45
Social Credit Roland Mireault 147 0.45
Commonwealth of Canada Gilles Gervais 113 0.35
Non-affiliated Doris Lacroix 104 0.32
Total valid votes 32,707 100.00
Total rejected ballots 659
Turnout 33,366 70.36
Electors on the lists 47,423
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-third General Election, 1984.


  1. ^ Jones, David T. (November 2000). "Canada and the US in the Chrétien Years: Edging Toward Confrontation" (PDF). Policy Options. p. 36. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  2. ^ "Canada Post head Ouellet resigns". CBC News. August 12, 2004. Retrieved March 13, 2021.

External links[edit]

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
legislation enacted Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lloyd Axworthy
Perrin Beatty Secretary of State for External Affairs
styled as Minister of Foreign Affairs
legislation enacted
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Papineau
Succeeded by
The electoral district was abolished in 1987.
Preceded by
The electoral district was created in 1987.
Member of Parliament for Papineau—Saint-Michel
Succeeded by