André Bellavance

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André Bellavance
Mayor of Victoriaville
Assumed office
2016
Preceded by Christian Lettre (interim)
Leader of the Bloc Québécois in the House of Commons
In office
December 16, 2013 – February 25, 2014[1]
Preceded by Louis Plamondon
Succeeded by Jean-François Fortin
Member of Parliament
for Richmond—Arthabaska
In office
2004–2015
Preceded by André Bachand
Succeeded by Alain Rayes
Personal details
Born (1964-06-03) June 3, 1964 (age 52)
Victoriaville, Quebec
Political party Bloc Québécois (2004–2014),
Independent (2014–)
Residence Victoriaville, Quebec
Profession Journalist, political assistant, radio announcer

André Bellavance (born June 3, 1964) is a Canadian politician. He is currently the mayor-elect of Victoriaville, Quebec.

Born in Victoriaville, Quebec, Bellavance was the Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament for Richmond—Arthabaska from 2004 until his resignation from the party on August 25, 2014, continuing in the Canadian House of Commons as an Independent until the 2015 election.[2] representing the riding of Richmond—Arthabaska since 2004. Before being elected, he was the parliamentary assistant to Pierre Paquette.

Bellavance was interim parliamentary leader of the Bloc from December 16, 2013, to February 25, 2014.[2] On February 25, 2014, Bellavance resigned from that position to become a candidate in the Bloc Québécois leadership election. Bellavance's candidacy for leadership was endorsed by the other three BQ MPs,[3] however he was defeated in the leadership election by Mario Beaulieu, the former president of the sovereigntist Société-Saint-Jean-Baptiste, who was viewed as a "hardline" (pur et dur) sovereigntist in comparison to Bellavance[4] who had campaigned on broadening the party so that it would become more than a coalition of sovereigntists.[5]

On his reasons for leaving the Bloc, Bellavance told a press conference: “[Beaulieu's] 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.”[6] Bellavance also announced that he will not seek re-election as an MP.[6]

Bellavance was elected as mayor of Victoriaville on February 21, 2016 following the election of previous mayor Alain Rayes to the House of Commons.

Flag flap[edit]

Bellavance gained national attention early in his first term as an MP, when he initially refused to provide Canadian flags to a Royal Canadian Legion hall in Richmond. Bellavance, a Quebec sovereigntist, had said he felt uncomfortable promoting Canada by providing a flag through his own office, and instead provided a toll-free phone number for the Department of Canadian Heritage, which might provide such a flag.

Other Bloc MPs had given their constituents Canadian flags on request in the past. A short national scandal ensued at what critics perceived a slight against veterans and against the country. Many politicians quickly sent the Legion flags; Prime Minister Paul Martin sent a flag that had flown atop the Peace Tower, and Opposition leader Stephen Harper personally delivered a dozen flags.

Gilles Duceppe, then leader of the Bloc Québécois, announced that the Bloc whip would send the legion several flags.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BELLAVANCE, André, B.A.". Parliement of Canada. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Andre Bellavance Quits Bloc Quebecois". The Huffington Post Canada. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ Delisle, Gabriel (February 22, 2014). "André Bellavance convoite la présidence du Bloc québécois". La Presse. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bloc Quebecois chooses Mario Beaulieu as new leader as federal party rebuilds". Vancouver Sun. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Bloc Québécois leadership candidate Mario Beaulieu wants to put sovereignty back on the front burner". Montreal Gazette. April 30, 2014. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "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. 
  7. ^ http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1099872570406_23/?hub=TopStories[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]