|Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Nicolet-Yamaska|
|Preceded by||Éric Dorion|
|Succeeded by||Donald Martel|
|Leader of Option nationale|
October 31, 2011 – June 19, 2013
|Succeeded by||Sol Zanetti|
June 1, 1970 |
|Political party||Parti Québécois (2008–2011)
Option nationale (2011–2013)
Jean-Martin Aussant (French: [ʒɑ̃ maʁtɛ̃ ɔsɑ̃]) is a Quebec economist, musician and politician, now serving as Executive director of the Chantier de l'économie sociale. He represented Nicolet-Yamaska in the National Assembly of Quebec from 2008 to 2012, first as a member of the Parti Québécois and then as leader of his own party, Option nationale. He was defeated when he ran for re-election in Nicolet-Bécancour in the 2012 general election.
Early life and career
Aussant was born in Sorel, Quebec. He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the Université Laval (1993) and a master's degree in Economic Analysis from the Université de Montréal (1995). He started Ph.D. work at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain, but left in 1997 to work as a consultant for Barra International, now a unit of MSCI.
Aussant was a research director and portfolio manager at Addenda Capital from 1999 to 2003 and a vice-president at Morgan Stanley Capital International/Barra in London, Britain from 2003 to 2005. Returning to Quebec in 2005, he was a manager for Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board for two years before starting a private consulting practice. He was also a founding director of the Montreal divisions of both the Global Association of Risk Professionals and the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association.
Parti Québécois member
Aussant was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec in the 2008 general election, defeating his Liberal opponent by only 141 votes. This was the second closest result in the province. The Liberals won a majority government across the province under Jean Charest's leadership, and the Parti Québécois formed the official opposition. Aussant was appointed as his party's critic for financial institutions and international commerce and became an opposition representative on the legislative committee on public finances.
He criticized the Charest government's appointment of Michael Sabia as head of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in May 2009, arguing that Sabia had tried to move BCE Inc.'s upper management and operations from Montreal to Toronto and could not be trusted to represent Quebec's interests. The following year, Aussant accused Sabia of having cost Quebecers $6 billion as the result of a poor risk management strategy.
When Quebec investment advisor Earl Jones was accused of stealing money from his clients in 2009, Aussant called for new legislation requiring financial advisors to register with the province's financial markets authority. He also called for the Charest government to create a parliamentary commission on economic crime.
In 2010, Aussant argued that Quebec could save about $840 million by removing the Canada Revenue Agency from tax collection in Quebec. He later criticized a proposed merger of the London Stock Exchange with the TMX Group, arguing that it would be "a further loss of ground for Quebec." (The TMX Group took over the Montreal Stock Exchange in 2008, through a deal which gave Quebec's Autorité des marchés financiers a say over future changes in the company.)
Aussant was a member of the PQ's hardline indépendantiste wing. Before leaving the party, he took part in a video touring series with three other PQ MNAs to promote the benefits of an independent Quebec.
On June 7, 2011, Aussant followed caucus-mates Louise Beaudoin, Pierre Curzi, and Lisette Lapointe in resigning from the Parti Québécois caucus. Unlike the first three legislators who criticized PQ leader Pauline Marois for supporting a bill that endorsed a controversial agreement between Quebec City and Quebecor Inc. on the construction of a new arena, Aussant criticized Marois for downplaying Quebec sovereignty and called on her to resign as party leader.
Aussant sat in the legislature as an independent. He dismissed suggestions that he could join a new political movement led by former PQ minister François Legault, stating that he and Legault were on opposite sides of the sovereignty issue and describing Legault's movement as "populism of the worst kind."
Following his departure from the PQ, Aussant created his own political party, Option nationale, which officially became registered on October 31, 2011. The party proposed to be more committed to Quebec sovereignty than the Parti Québécois, and would seek an electoral mandate for full-fledged autonomy, before a referendum to adopt the constitution of Quebec as an sovereign nation-state. No Option Nationale candidates were elected in the ensuing election; Aussant lost his seat to a Coalition Avenir Québec candidate.
On June 19, 2013, Aussant left his role as leader of the party. He stated "family and personal matters" as the official reason. In August of the same year, he announced that he would be leaving Quebec work to work once again with Morgan Stanley Capital International in Britain. He noted that he had not received job offers from Quebec employers and speculated that his involvement in the Quebec separatist movement may have been the reason.
|Quebec general election, 2012: Nicolet-Bécancour|
|Coalition Avenir Québec||Donald Martel||9,745||32.01|
|Option nationale||Jean-Martin Aussant||7,869||25.85|
|Parti Québécois||Gilles Mayrand||5,644||18.54|
|Total valid votes||30,446||98.54|
|Total rejected ballots||450||1.46|
|Electors on the lists||39,304||–|
|Quebec general election, 2008: Nicolet-Yamaska|
|Parti Québécois||Jean-Martin Aussant||8,131||35.24|
|Action démocratique||Éric Dorion
|Québec solidaire||Marianne Mathis||940||4.07|
|Total valid votes||23,071||98.14|
|Rejected and declined votes||438||1.86|
|Electors on the lists||34,889|
|Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.|
- "Investiture du Parti Québécois de Nicolet-Yamaska - Jean-Martin Aussant officiellement candidat dans Nicolet-Yamaska" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 5 November 2008, 9:02pm.
- Aussant was also director of fixed income product strategy for Barra International in the latter period. See "Barra upgrades risk analysis," eFinancial News, 21 September 2003.
- Biography: Jean-Martin Aussant, Parti Québécois, accessed 30 August 2009.
- Andy Riga, "The election by the numbers," Montreal Gazette, 10 December 2008, A4.
- "PAULINE MAROIS PRÉSENTE LA NOUVELLE ÉQUIPE PARLEMENTAIRE DE L'OPPOSITION OFFICIELLE" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 9 January 2009, 03:58pm; "L'Assemblée nationale dévoile la composition des commissions parlementaires" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 16 January 2009, 3:39pm. He was reappointed to the public finance committee in September 2009. See L'Assemblée nationale dévoile la composition des nouvelles commissions parlementaires [press release], Canada Newswire, 16 September 2009, 10:28pm.
- Martin Ouellet, "La Caisse de dépôt était "mal arrimée à son environnement", selon Sabia," La Presse Canadienne, 4 May 2009, 6:08pm; Konrad Yakabuski and Rhéal Séguin, "In his grandfather's footsteps: New Caisse boss defends Quebec roots," The Globe and Mail, 5 May 2009, A1. This statement received national attention.
- Kevin Dougherty, "Caisse's mistakes add up to $16 billion in two years, PQ says," Montreal Gazette, 28 April 2010, B3. The other $10 billion referred to a separate investment that predated Sabia's appointment.
- Don Macpherson, "Quebec argues jurisdiction while investors' money goes missing," Montreal Gazette, 4 August 2009, A11.
- "Crimes économiques: le PQ et QS demandent au gouvernement d'aller plus loin," La Presse Canadienne, 26 August 2009, 04:21pm.
- "PQ tables motion to cut federal revenue agency out of Quebec tax collection," Canadian Press, 17 March 2010, 17:51.
- Nicolas Van Praet, "Quebec could veto TMX-LSE tie-up; Seeking hearings," National Post, 10 February 2011, FP3.
- Another resignation from the Parti Quebecois, CTV Television Network, 7 June 2011, accessed 7 June 2011.
- "Another PQ member quits," Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 7 June 2011, accessed 7 June 2011; Another resignation from the Parti Quebecois, CTV Television Network, 7 June 2011, accessed 7 June 2011; Marco Fortier, "Crise au PQ — Jean-Martin Aussant quitte et demande la démission de Marois", Rue Frontenac, 7 June 2011, accessed 7 June 2011.
- Option nationale - Le Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ)
- Former PQ MNA files papers to start sovereignist party Montreal Gazette
- Jean-Martin Aussant quitte Option Nationale. La Presse, June 19, 2013.
- , 12 August 2013