Monique Bégin

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Monique Bégin
Member of Parliament for Saint-Michel
In office
Preceded byVictor Forget
Succeeded byThérèse Killens
Member of Parliament for Saint-Léonard—Anjou
In office
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byAlfonso Gagliano
Personal details
Born (1936-03-01) March 1, 1936 (age 86)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Political partyLiberal
WebsiteParliament of Canada biography

Monique Bégin, PC CC FRSC (born March 1, 1936) is a Canadian academic and former politician.

Early life[edit]

Bégin was born in Rome and raised in France and Portugal before emigrating to Canada at the end of World War II. She received a MA degree in sociology from the Université de Montréal and a PhD degree from the Sorbonne. She describes her early life in Montreal as challenging, but credits community groups and her childhood role as a Girl Guides of Canada member as "sav(ing) her life".[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1967, Bégin became executive secretary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which published its report in 1970. She won election to the House of Commons of Canada as a Liberal candidate in the 1972 election. Bégin, Albanie Morin and Jeanne Sauvé, all elected in 1972, were the first women ever elected to the House of Commons from Quebec.

She was appointed to the Canadian Cabinet by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as Minister of National Revenue in 1976, and served as Minister of Health and Welfare from 1977 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984 during which the Canada Health Act was enacted.


In 1986, she joined the University of Ottawa and Carleton University as the first joint Ottawa-Carleton Chair of Women's Studies. From 1990 to 1997, she was the University of Ottawa's dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and continues teaching to this day as a professor emeritus. From 1993 to 1995, she also served as co-chair of Ontario's Royal Commission on Learning with Gerald Caplan.

In 1997, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Bégin currently serves as the Treasurer for the International Centre for Migration and Health.

In 2018, she published the memoir Ladies, Upstairs!: My Life in Politics and After.[2]

She was elevated to a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2020.[3]

Electoral record (partial)[edit]

1980 Canadian federal election: Saint-Léonard—Anjou
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Monique Bégin 42,228 81.12
New Democratic Filippo Salvatore 3,741 7.19
Progressive Conservative Pierre Gauthier 2,972 5.71
Rhinoceros Pierre Guzzo-Céros 1,569 3.01
Social Credit Gaétan Bernard 1,194 2.29
Union populaire U.P. Nelson Bouchard 260 0.50
Marxist–Leninist Caroline Commandeur-Laloux 91 0.17
Total valid votes 52,055 100.00
Total rejected ballots 607
Turnout 52,662 66.44
Electors on the lists 79,266
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-second General Election, 1980.


There is a Monique Bégin fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[4]


  1. ^ "Monique Bégin: The feminist trailblazer -". 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  2. ^ "Ladies, Upstairs!: My Life in Politics and After, by Monique Bégin". Quill & Quire, March 2019.
  3. ^ "Governor General Announces 114 New Appointments to the Order of Canada".
  4. ^ "Finding aid to Monique Bégin fonds, Library and Archives Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-08-31.

External links[edit]