Jean-François Fortin (politician)

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Jean-François Fortin
Leader of Strength in Democracy
In office
October 21, 2014 – January 3, 2016
Preceded by position created
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia
In office
May 30, 2011 – October 19, 2015
Preceded by Jean-Yves Roy
Succeeded by Rémi Massé for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia
Leader of the Bloc Québécois in the House of Commons
In office
February 26, 2014 – August 12, 2014
Preceded by André Bellavance
Succeeded by Louis Plamondon
Personal details
Born (1973-09-12) September 12, 1973 (age 44)
Political party Strength in Democracy
Other political
Independent (2014)
Bloc Québécois (2011-2014)
Profession Professor

Jean-François Fortin (born September 12, 1973) is a Canadian politician. He was elected to represent the riding of Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia in the 2011 federal election as a member of the Bloc Québécois, and was chosen interim parliamentary leader of the Bloc on February 26, 2014.[1]

On August 12, 2014, Fortin quit the party to sit as an independent, saying that the Bloc Québécois he had joined no longer exists and that new party leader Mario Beaulieu had destroyed its credibility.[2]

On October 21, 2014, Fortin, along with Jean-François Larose, the NDP MP for Repentigny, announced that they were forming Strength in Democracy, a new Quebec-centred political party dedicated to representing the province's regions.[3] In the 2015 federal election he ran for the new riding of Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and lost to Liberal Rémi Massé.

Early life[edit]

Prior to being elected to parliament, Fortin was a professor of political science at Cégep de Rimouski from 2001 until 2011. He was also elected as a city councillor in Sainte-Flavie in 2003 and served a term as mayor from 2006 until 2009.

Political career[edit]

Fortin was one of only four Bloc Québécois MPs elected in the 2011 federal election which saw the party's caucus reduced from 47 to 4 and was the only non-incumbent Bloc candidate to win election. He won the seat of Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, which had been vacated by fellow Bloc Québécois politician Jean-Yves Roy who resigned from Parliament in late 2010 because of ill health.

On September 17, 2011, Fortin declared his candidacy in the Bloc Québécois leadership election that was held to choose a successor to Gilles Duceppe.[4] He was defeated on the first ballot on December 11, 2011.[5]

Fortin considered running in the 2014 party leadership election but decided to back André Bellavance. On August 12, 2014, almost two months after Mario Beaulieu's upset victory, Fortin quit the Bloc Quebecois to sit as an Independent accusing Beaulieu of "pushing a unidimensional, intransigent agenda that lacks rigour has put an end to the credibility established by (former leaders) Gilles Duceppe and followed up by Daniel Paillé, two leaders who merit great respect." He continued, saying that "Beaulieu is dividing sovereignists instead of uniting them.”[6] In October, Fortin and another MP announced the formation of the Strength in Democracy party, which sat in the Canadian legislature with Fortin as leader.

In the 2015 federal election Fortin ran for the redistributed riding of Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia under the Strength In Democracy banner. He lost to Liberal Rémi Massé, coming in fourth.

Election results[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015: Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Rémi Massé 14,378 39.55 +16.34
Bloc Québécois Kédina Fleury-Samson 7,641 21.02 -13.47
New Democratic Joël Charest 7,340 20.19 -6.44
Strength in Democracy Jean-François Fortin 4,229 11.63
Conservative André Savoie 2,228 6.13 -7.03
Green Sherri Springle 365 1.0 -1.51
Rhinoceros Éric Normand 175 0.48
Total valid votes/Expense limit 36,356 100.0   $209,302.73
Total rejected ballots 416
Turnout 36,772
Eligible voters 60,801
Source: Elections Canada[7][8]
Canadian federal election, 2011: Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Bloc Québécois Jean-François Fortin 12,633 36.05 -1.48 $83,313.68
Liberal Nancy Charest 8,964 25.58 -10.02 $57,826.03
New Democratic Joanie Boulet 7,484 21.36 +16.67 $24.16
Conservative Allen Cormier 5,253 14.99 -3.08 $52,135.20
Green Louis Drainville 707 2.02 -1.55 $3,418.82
Total valid votes/Expense limit 35,041 100.0     $86,709.81
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 393 1.11 +0.07
Turnout 35,434 59.81 +5.43
Eligible voters 59,397
Bloc Québécois hold Swing +4.27


External links[edit]