Daniel Breton

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Daniel Breton
Daniel Breton 2008-09-11.jpg
Daniel Breton in 2008
MNA for Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques
In office
September 4, 2012 – April 7, 2014
Preceded by Martin Lemay
Succeeded by Manon Massé
Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks
In office
September 19 – November 29, 2012
Preceded by Pierre Arcand
Succeeded by Yves-François Blanchet
Personal details
Born (1962-06-18) June 18, 1962 (age 55)
Montreal, Quebec
Nationality Canadian
Political party Parti Québécois

Daniel Breton (born June 18, 1962) is an environmental activist and politician in the Canadian provinceof Quebec. He was the member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques between 2012 and 2014.

Early life and activism[edit]

Breton was born in Montreal and studied political science at the University of Montreal and the University of Quebec at Montreal.[1] He was a principal organizer of a November 2001 march in Montreal against Canada's military intervention in Afghanistan. During the march, he was quoted as saying, "We held this demonstration because we are against a military solution to settle the conflict and the fight against terrorism. We are against terrorism, but war is not the solution."[2]

Breton subsequently founded Québec-Vert-Kyoto (later known as QuébecKyoto), which advocated in favour of the Kyoto Accord on climate change. In 2004, he led an ultimately successful protest against Hydro-Quebec's plans to launch the Suroit natural gas power project near Beauharnois.[3] The following year, he called for the Montreal Transit Corporation to invest in suburban commuter trains rather than building a new bridge between Laval and Montreal.[4]

In June 2007, Breton called on Canadian environment minister John Baird to resign over the Stephen Harper government's handling of the Kyoto Accord. Breton described Baird as "neither competent nor willing to carry in a serious, non-partisan manner, the heavy burden of the environment portfolio."[5]

Breton spoke against Quebec's plans for shale gas exploration in 2010.[6]

On November 29, 2012, Daniel Breton resigned from his post as environment minister less than two months after taking office.

Political activism[edit]

Breton helped re-launch the dormant Green Party of Quebec for the 2003 Quebec general election and was the party's candidate in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. He finished sixth against Parti Québécois incumbent Louise Harel. Breton also worked for the Green Party of Canada. He supported the sovereigntist option in the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty and signed a joint statement in favour of Quebec independence in 2007.[7]

In 2008, Breton left the Green Party to join the Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP). In joining the NDP, he was quoted as saying, "what is at stake in 2008 is not the sovereignty of Quebec but the sovereignty of Canada. We are in the process of losing control over our natural resources, over our economy, of our big businesses and our political sovereignty."[8] He ran as a star candidate for the party in the 2008 federal election and finished third in Jeanne-Le Ber.[9] He was not a candidate in the 2011 federal election, in which the NDP made a historic breakthrough to become the dominant federal party in Quebec.

In 2012, Breton joined the Parti Québécois and ran successfully for the party in the 2012 election,[10] retaining the riding of Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques for the PQ. He was the minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks from September 19 to November 29, 2012[11] in the government of Pauline Marois. He was defeated in the 2014 election by Manon Massé of Québec Solidaire.

Electoral record[edit]

Quebec general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Québec solidaire Manon Massé 8,437 30.60 +5.17
Liberal Anna Klisko 8,346 30.27 +10.96
Parti Québécois Daniel Breton 7,612 27.61 -8.07
Coalition Avenir Québec Patrick Thauvette 2,364 8.57 -6.21
Green Stewart Wiseman 393 1.43
Option nationale Nic Payne 210 0.76 -2.33
Bloc Pot Marc Bissonnette 164 0.59
Marxist–Leninist Serge Lachapelle 47 0.17 -0.04
Total valid votes 27,573 98.86
Total rejected ballots 318 1.14
Turnout 27,891 65.96 -2.22
Electors on the lists 42,287
Québec solidaire gain from Parti Québécois Swing  
Quebec general election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Daniel Breton 10,199 35.76 -10.86
Québec solidaire Manon Massé 7,253 25.43 +10.03
Liberal Étienne Collins 5,531 19.39 -8.83
Coalition Avenir Québec Cédrick Beauregard 4,216 14.78 +10.76*
Option nationale Denis Monière 880 3.09
Middle Class Louis Provencher 143 0.50
Independent Jean-Marc Labrèche 123 0.43
Quebec Citizens' Union Edson Emilio 87 0.31
Marxist–Leninist Serge Lachapelle 60 0.21 -0.17
Independent Dimitri Mourkes 31 0.11
Total valid votes 28,523 98.94
Total rejected ballots 305 1.06
Turnout 28,828 68.18 +20.94
Electors on the lists 42,283

* Result compared to Action démocratique

Canadian federal election, 2008: Jeanne-Le Ber
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Bloc Québécois Thierry St-Cyr 17,144 34.91 $88,605
Liberal Christian P. Feuillette 15,841 32.26 $58,773
New Democratic Daniel Breton 7,708 15.70 $28,413
Conservative Daniel Beaudin 5,494 11.19 $25,712
Green Véronik Sansoucy 2,345 4.78 $353
     Independent Darryl Gray 577 1.17
Total valid votes 49,109 100.00
Total rejected ballots 595
Turnout 49,704 57.66
Electors on the lists 86,201
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.
Quebec general election, 2003: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Louise Harel 13,138 55.77 −4.84
Liberal Richer Dompierre 6,210 26.36 +0.83
Action démocratique Louise Blackburn 2,449 10.40 −1.11
UFP Lise Alarie 788 3.34
Bloc Pot Alex Néron 476 2.02
Green Daniel Breton 367 1.56
Marxist–Leninist Christine Dandenault 79 0.34 −0.28
Christian Democracy Mario Richard 52 0.22
Total valid votes 23,559 98.40
Total rejected ballots 383 1.60
Turnout 23,942 60.09 −7.92
Electors on the lists 39,843
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.


  1. ^ Canada Votes: 2008: Results, Ridings and Candidates: Jeanne-Le Ber, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, accessed 21 May 2012.
  2. ^ Paul Cherry, "Anti-war message on march: Downtown demo denounces violence, feds' terrorism bill," Montreal Gazette, 18 November 2001, A3.
  3. ^ Gary Francoeur, "Suroit foes plan protest demo: Power project hearings wrap up," Montreal Gazette, 21 May 2004, A9; Gary Francoeur, "Protesters march against natural-gas-powered plant," Montreal Gazette, 30 May 2004, A2; Catherine Solyom, "'Surprised it took so long': Opponents 'very happy'," Montreal Gazette, 18 November 2004, A4.
  4. ^ Monique Beaudin, "Transit holds its own, but car use still on rise," Montreal Gazette, 19 January 2005, A8.
  5. ^ "Baird should resign over Tory government's Kyoto approach: Quebec coalition," Canadian Press, 5 June 2007.
  6. ^ "D'autres voix disent que l'audience du BAPE sur le schiste est vouée à l'échec," La Presse Canadienne -- Le Fil Radio, 10 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Former Green Party organizer joins federal NDP," Postmedia News, 8 February 2008, p. 1.
  8. ^ "Green Party organizer to run for NDP," Montreal Gazette, 9 February 2008, A8.
  9. ^ "Montreal supremacy up for grabs; 18 precious seats," Montreal Gazette, 15 October 2008, B3.
  10. ^ http://pq.org/actualite/communiques/preparation_electorale_daniel_breton_sera_candidat_du_parti_quebecois_dans_sai
  11. ^ Daniel Breton, on the website of the National Assembly