Antoine-Aimé Dorion

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Antoine-Aimé Dorion
The Honourable Sir Antoine-Aimé Dorion
December 1873; Topley Studio,
Library and Archives Canada
Born (1818-01-17)January 17, 1818
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Lower Canada
Died May 31, 1891(1891-05-31) (aged 73)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

French Canadian Leader of le Parti Rouge (reformers)

Opposed to Confederation.

Sir Antoine-Aimé Dorion, PC (January 17, 1818 – May 31, 1891) was a French Canadian politician and jurist. [1]

Early years[edit]

Dorion was born in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade into a family with liberal values that had been sympathetic to the Patriotes in 1837-1838. His father, merchant Pierre-Antoine Dorion, was a representative of the Patriote party in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1830 to 1838.

After studies at the Nicolet seminary from 1830 to 1837, Dorion began a law career in Montreal and was admitted to the bar in 1842.


Dorion in 1865, collection of the Law Society of Upper Canada

In 1858 Dorion served as Co-Premier of the Province of Canada with Clear Grit leader George Brown (Canadian politician) but the government quickly fell. From 1863 to 1864 Dorion again served as Co-Premier, this time with John Sandfield Macdonald as well as taking the position of Attorney-General but refused to participate in the Great Coalition government formed in 1864 by Brown, John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier. Following the Quebec Conference of 1864 he denounced the proposed Canadian Confederation and led the opposition in Lower Canada to the project. He was also the leader of the Parti Rouge and thought the provinces would lose their power if Confederation was put into action. He disapproved that the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island were uniting under a central government.

House of Commons[edit]

Nevertheless, when Confederation became a reality, Dorion won a seat in the new Canadian House of Commons as Liberal Member of Parliament for Hochelaga. He was re-elected three times in succession for Napierville and served as Minister of Justice in the Liberal government of Alexander Mackenzie from the 7 of November 1873 until 1 June 1874 when he was named chief justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Quebec. [2]


He died on 31 May 1891. [2]


The Township Municipality of Dorion in the Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada, was named in his honour (but renamed to Cayamant in 1988).


In 1848 Dorion married the daughter of Dr. Trestler of Montreal.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Canadian Encyclopedia". Historica Foundation, Toronto. 2011< Retrieved 31 Jan 2011> 
  2. ^ a b c Browning 1901.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBrowning, Thomas Blair (1901). "Dorion, Antoine Aimé". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 


Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Antoine-Aimé Dorion
Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada - Canada East
Succeeded by
with Sir George-Étienne Cartier
Preceded by
Sir Louis-Victor Sicotte
Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada - Canada East
Succeeded by
with Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché
Preceded by
riding created
Member of Parliament - Hochelaga
Succeeded by
Louis Beaubien
Preceded by
Sixte Coupal dit la Reine
Member of Parliament - Napierville
Succeeded by
Sixte Coupal dit la Reine
Preceded by
John A. Macdonald
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Albert James Smith
Preceded by
Louis Victor Sicotte
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Canada
Succeeded by
Joseph-Édouard Turcotte