Lise Thibault

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Lise Thibault
Lise Thibault-flags.jpg
27th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
In office
January 30, 1997 – June 7, 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Roméo LeBlanc
Adrienne Clarkson
Michaëlle Jean
Premier Lucien Bouchard
Bernard Landry
Jean Charest
Preceded by Jean-Louis Roux
Succeeded by Pierre Duchesne
Personal details
Born (1939-04-02) April 2, 1939 (age 76)
Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec
Spouse(s) René Thibault
Parents Paul Trudel
Laurenza Wolfe
Profession Civil servant, Teacher, Journalist

Lise Thibault (French pronunciation: ​[liz tibo]; born 2 April 1939) was appointed the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec in 1997 and later sentenced to jail for fraud and ordered to repay the government.

Early life[edit]

Born in Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec, she was the eldest daughter of Paul Trudel and Laurenza Wolfe. She was educated at the Académie Marie-Anne de Montréal, and then went on to teachers' college at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme. She married René Thibault in 1959.[1]


Thibault taught with the adult education department of the Milles-Îles and Des Écores school boards from 1973 to 1978. She worked for Télé-Métropole from 1977 to 1981. From 1982 to 1984 she was a host and researcher at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as for programs about family and community issues. She was the vice president for Quebec's Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) from 1987 to 1993. She was President and CEO of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec from 1993 to 1995.[1]

She was closely associated with the federal Liberal Party for many years, and on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, the Governor General appointed her Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, following the resignation of Jean-Louis Roux in 1997. She became Quebec's first female viceroy, and the first disabled lieutenant governor in Canada; Thibault was permanently disabled in a tobogganing accident as a teenager, and uses a wheelchair. In February 2005 Thibault suffered a stroke. She was one of the longest serving lieutenant governors in Canadian history, serving for over ten years. As a former viceregal representative of Elizabeth II, as Queen in Right of Quebec, she is styled The Honourable for life.

Sentencing for fraud[edit]

In 2007, she was accused of spending beyond the limits of her expense account. Questions on her spending continued after her departure, with federal and provincial auditors general pointing to $700,000 in unjustified expenses (CBC). Among the expenses were:[2]

  • $45,000 for "gifts" without the names of recipients.
  • $24,000 to transport her official van to the United States while she was on vacation, rather than renting a car there.
  • $12,000 to the provincial air service for a one-day fishing trip in the Gaspe region.
  • $44,000 in "tips" paid by her bodyguards during hotel stays and sporting activities.

The files were turned over to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for investigation. She was criminally charged for offences involving fraud, breach of trust, forgery and fabrication of false documents related to the misspending of public funds during her ten years in office.[3] Thibault's lawyer argued unsuccessfully in Quebec Superior Court that Thibault should receive sovereign immunity, because "the Crown's prosecution cannot prosecute the Crown"—referring to her prior office as the Queen's representative in Quebec.[4]

On 30 September 2015 she was sentenced 18 months in jail and was ordered to repay the government $300,000 after pleading guilty to fraud and breach of trust last year. Judge Carol St-Cyr outlined her crimes, pointing out that she "took advantage of holes in the system and abused her position of authority to pay for trips, golf lessons and birthday parties... [and] forgot that her role as lieutenant-governor was to be a good example for Quebecers."[5]

Titles, styles, honours, and arms[edit]

Viceregal styles of
Lise Thibault
Reference style
  • Her Honour the Honourable
  • Son Honneur l'honorable
Spoken style
  • Your Honour
  • Votre Honneur
Alternative style
  • Ma'am
  • Madame


  • April 2, 1939  – January 30, 1997: Ms./Madame Lise Thibault
  • January 30, 1997 – June 7, 2007: Her Honour the Honourable Lise Thibault, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
  • June 7, 2007 – : The Honourable Lise Thibault


Lise Thibault Has Received 3 Honorary Degrees

Province/State Date School Degree
 Quebec November 1999 Concordia University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [6]
 Quebec 2 June 2001 Bishop's University Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) [7]
 Massachusetts 2003 Anna Maria College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)


Arms of Lise Thibault
Lise Thibault Arms.svg
The arms of Lise Thibault consist of:[8]
Upon a helmet mantled Azure doubled Argent within a wreath of these colours upon a grassy mound Vert an oak tree Argent fructed Azure.
Azure between two quills in chief and a treble clef in base a swallow volant Argent holding in the beak a Blue Flag Or.
Two does Azure and Argent gorged with maple leaves Or pendant therefrom a bezant the dexter one charged with two ears of wheat the sinister one with two sprigs of flax one bearing two flowers the other four all Azure.
A grassy mound Vert bearing lilies between two maple leaves Or.
Créer La Vie


  1. ^ a b "Lise Thibault". The Great Names of the French Canadian Community. 2000. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  2. ^ "Thibault defends expenses". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  3. ^ The Globe and Mail "Former Quebec lieutenant-governor facing charges"
  4. ^ Canadian Press. "The court is not amused: Canadian judge rejects royal privilege argument." The Vancouver Sun, August 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "Lise Thibault ordered to repay $300K, serve 18 months". CBC. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority (Volume III), Ottawa, 1999