Jean-Daniel Lafond

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Jean-Daniel Lafond
CC
Born (1944-08-18) August 18, 1944 (age 69)
Montluçon, France
Nationality French/Canadian
Occupation Filmmaker
Known for Viceregal consort to Michaëlle Jean

Jean-Daniel Lafond CC (born 18 August 1944, Montluçon) is a French-born Canadian filmmaker, and the husband to the former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, making him the Viceregal Consort of Canada during her service.

Biography[edit]

Lafond was born in France during the liberation of Paris from the Nazis. He later taught philosophy from 1971 "while pursuing research in audio-visual training and communications". In 1974 Lafond left France for Quebec and became a Canadian citizen in 1984. After teaching at the Université de Montréal he left the university to focus on film-making, radio and writing.

From his first marriage Lafond has two daughters Estelle and Élise, as well as two grandchildren. With his current wife former Governor General Michaëlle Jean he has a daughter Marie-Éden (born 99), adopted from Haiti.

Controversy[edit]

When in 2005 his wife was nominated by Prime Minister Paul Martin as the next Governor General, controversy arose when his past resurfaced. While the personality of Michaëlle Jean was mostly accepted throughout Canada, Lafond himself had early on been suspected of being a Quebec separatist because of some of his movies. When an article in a sovereigntist journal made its way to the press, alleging that Lafond had befriended a former FLQ (militant Quebec-separatist organization) member who had built for him a cache "to hide weapons" in his library. Later in August, his wife reacted to this in a formal letter announcing she and her husband "had never adhered to a political party or to the sovereigntist ideology".

Confusion continues to surround his loyalties. In his book, La manière nègre (The Black Way), he wrote, "So, a sovereign Quebec? An independent Quebec? Yes, and I applaud with both hands and I promise to be at all the St. Jean [Baptiste] parades." However, in October 2005, in an interview with Radio-Canada he said, "I never believed that I could become a separatist. I have a great deal of difficulty with nationalism in general." He also called members of the sovereigntist movement who had called him a traitor, terrorists. At the same time he affirmed that he was a Québécois before a Canadian. He believes that he has always fought for the "cultural independence" of Quebec, but nothing further.[1]

Lafond's 2006 film American Fugitive: The Truth About Hassan, a documentary about an American political activist who has admitted to assassinating an Iranian diplomat in 1980, who appeared, unexpectedly, in the 2001 film Kandahar, also stirred controversy. The National Post asserted that the film was too sympathetic to David Belfield, the activist.[2][3][4]

Honours[edit]

In 2010, he was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[5]

As the spouse of the then Governor General, in 2005 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

Ribbon bars of Jean-Daniel Lafond

Arms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jean's husband blasts separatists, Globe and Mail, October 27, 2005
  2. ^ American Fugitive:The Truth About Hassan, InformAction
  3. ^ Lafond's new film hits hot buttons, CBC, April 26, 2006
  4. ^ Airbrushing a killer, National Post, May 2, 2006
  5. ^ "Jean-Daniel Lafond Honoured". The Governor General of Canada. 
  6. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority. "The Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges of Canada > Jean-Daniel Lafond". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Ralston Saul
Viceregal Consort of Canada
2005–2010
Succeeded by
Sharon Johnston