Joseph-Goderic Blanchet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joseph-Goderic Blanchet
JosephGodricBlanchet23.jpg
3rd Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons
In office
February 13, 1879 – February 7, 1883
Monarch Victoria
Governor General The Marquess of Lorne
Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald
Preceded by Timothy Warren Anglin
Succeeded by George Airey Kirkpatrick
1st Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec
In office
1867–1875
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Pierre Fortin
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Lévis
In office
1867–1874
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Louis-Honoré Fréchette
In office
1878–1883
Preceded by Louis-Honoré Fréchette
Succeeded by Isidore-Noël Belleau
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Bellechasse
In office
1875–1878
Preceded by Télesphore Fournier
Succeeded by Achille Larue
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Lévis
In office
1867–1875
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Étienne-Théodore Pâquet
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from Lévis
In office
1861–1866
Preceded by François-Xavier Lemieux
Succeeded by legislature abolished
Personal details
Born (1829-06-07)June 7, 1829
Saint-Pierre-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, Lower Canada
Died January 1, 1890(1890-01-01) (aged 60)
Political party Liberal-Conservative
Conservative
Conservative Party of Quebec
Occupation Physician

Joseph-Goderic (Joseph-Godric) Blanchet, (June 7, 1829 – January 1, 1890) was a Canadian physician and politician. He was the only person to serve as both Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons and Speaker of a provincial legislature. He represented Lévis in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal-Conservative member from 1867 to 1873 and from 1879 to 1883; he represented Bellechasse from 1875 to 1878. He also represented Lévis in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1867 to 1875.

He was born in Saint-Pierre-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, Lower Canada in 1825. He studied at the Petit Séminaire de Québec and Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière. He then studied medicine with his uncle Jean Blanchet and qualified as a doctor in 1850. A popular physician, Blanchet entered politics with his election as Mayor of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire, now part of Lévis Quebec (then Canada East) in 1845 at the age of 25. With the Province of Canada on military alert due to the American Civil War, Blanchet joined the militia and raised a battalion to defend the frontier against raids from the United States. During the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870, he was in command of the militia on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Blanchet was a Conservative and first ran for election to the Legislative Assembly in 1857 but was defeated. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for Lévis in 1861 and 1863. He supported Canadian Confederation as a means of defending British North America against possible attack by the United States.

He was concurrently elected in the 1867 federal election to the new Canadian House of Commons and to the Quebec Legislative Assembly. Under the law of the day, he was allowed to be a member of both legislatures at the same time.

He became Speaker of the provincial legislature and served in that position for two terms.

In the federal House of Commons, he was named by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to a committee investigating the Pacific Scandal.

The federal election law was changed in 1874 to prohibit Members of Parliament (MPs) from concurrently sitting in a provincial legislature. Blanchet chose to resign his seat in the federal House of Commons. After losing his seat in the Quebec legislature to the much younger Étienne-Théodore Pâquet in the 1875 Quebec provincial election, he won a federal by-election in 1875 and returned to Ottawa as MP for Bellechasse. In the 1878 federal election, he ran in his old riding of Lévis. The election returned the Conservatives to power, and Macdonald nominated Blanchet to be Speaker of the House of Commons.

Due to the tradition of alternating between English and French Speakers after each election, he returned to the backbenches following the 1882 election despite a successful term as Speaker. In 1883, he resigned from Parliament in order to accept a position as Collector of Customs for the Port of Quebec and served in that position until his death at Lévis in 1890 at the age of 70. He was buried in the crypt of Notre-Dame Church of Lévis.

References[edit]