He was born in Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, Lower Canada in 1813. His father, also named François, was the first mayor of the town. He took part in the Lower Canada Rebellion, was arrested but later released and later served as captain in the local militia. He settled at Saint-Jean and represented the town on the council for Chambly County. In 1854, he elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Saint-Jean as a member of the parti rouge; he served until Confederation, when he was elected to the federal parliament, although he opposed confederation. Bourassa spoke no English. He retired from politics in 1896. He served as mayor of L'Acadie in 1858.
He died in Saint-Valentin in 1898.