January 5, 1948 |
Saint-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada
|Known for||President and Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Nordiques|
Marcel Aubut, OC OQ QC (born January 5, 1948) is a Canadian lawyer, former president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and former president and Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Born in Saint-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup in Rivière-du-Loup Regional County Municipality, Quebec, the son of Roland Aubut and Omérine Proulx, Aubut received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Académie de Québec in 1968, a Bachelor of Law degree from Université Laval in 1970, and a Master of Law degree in 1975 from Université Laval. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1972 and was created a Queen's Counsel in 1987. In 1970, he married Francine Vallée. They had three children: Mélanie, Julie and Catherine.
In 1986, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Officer in 1993. In 2006, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. In 1999, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Quebec Nordiques and hockey
When the Nordiques drafted future NHL superstar Eric Lindros in the 1991 draft, Lindros refused to play for the team based entirely on Aubut. "The decision to not play for Quebec was based solely on the owner," Lindros said in reference to Aubut. "It had nothing to do with language, culture, [or] city. Keep in mind, my wife is French [from Quebec]. I was not going to play for that individual -- period."
Aubut was President of the Nordiques when the team was sold to an American communications company and moved to Denver in 1995, becoming the Colorado Avalanche. Maclean's Magazine reported that Aubut personally made $15 million from the sale and that T-shirts reading "Marcel Aubut: Wanted Dead or Alive" were not an uncommon sight in Quebec City at the time.
Recently, he proposed Quebec City as home of a new NHL team. Aubut argued that with the new NHL collective bargaining agreement and the coming 400th anniversary of Quebec City in 2008, the city could build a new arena and/or a stadium.
On October 9, 2009 Aubut met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The meeting reportedly dealt with plans for a brand new Quebec arena. The unofficial details were that the city of Quebec was a leading candidate for a new franchise or one for relocation. An agreement for a new arena was reached in March 2012, with construction set to begin in September of that year and be completed in time for the 2015-16 NHL season.
Canadian Olympic Committee
Aubut was named a member at large of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) in 2000, and was elected to the Board of Governors and Executive Committee in 2005. In 2009 he was voted in as President-elect of the COC, taking over from Michael Chambers following the 2010 Winter Olympics in the spring of 2010. Aubut was the first francophone ever elected President of the COC.
During his time as President, Aubut greatly raised the profile of Canada's Olympic athletes and expanded the COC's operations, with corresponding increases in revenues and expenditures supporting amateur sport. In 2014 Aubut was acclaimed to a second four-year term as President. He served as a member of the Board of the organizing committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, and was appointed to the International Relations Commission of the International Olympic Committee.
On September 25, 2015, the COC received a complaint from a staff member at the Canadian Olympic Foundation alleging sexual harassment by Aubut. One week later, two other women came forward with allegations and the investigation was expanded. The Foundation, a charitable organization that raises money for Olympic sport, shares office space with the COC in Toronto. On September 30, 2015, Aubut and the COC announced that he would step aside as President of the COC and Chair of the Foundation while the COC investigation into the matter was conducted. The COC engaged retired Quebec Superior Court justice François Rolland as an independent investigator. After more allegations against Aubut appeared in the press, Aubut resigned as President of the COC on October 3, 2015.
- Elizabeth Lumley (2004). Canadian Who's Who 2004. University of Toronto Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-8020-8892-9.
- "Order of Canada citation".
- "National Order of Quebec citation" (in French).
- "Controversies behind him, Lindros now one happy camper". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- Daniel Leblanc and Sean Gordon. "All eyes on the Marcel Aubut Show ahead of Sochi".
- Daniel Leblanc and Sean Gordon (September 30, 2015). "COC probes harassment complaint against president Marcel Aubut".
- "COC head Marcel Aubut steps aside after sex harassment complaint". September 30, 2015.
- "COC accepts resignation of president Marcel Aubut". The Globe and Mail. October 3, 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.