Nicolas Girard

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Nicolas Girard
MNA for Gouin
In office
September 20, 2004 – September 4, 2012
Preceded by André Boisclair
Succeeded by Françoise David
Personal details
Born (1972-06-05) June 5, 1972 (age 44)
Montreal, Quebec
Political party Parti Québécois
Residence Montreal
Portfolio Social housing, poverty, community action, State of Hospital ER's, Public Transportation

Nicolas Girard (born June 5, 1972 in Montreal, Quebec) is a politician in Quebec, Canada, and former member of the National Assembly of Quebec. He was elected to the National Assembly in a by-election as a Parti Québécois member on September 20, 2004 in riding of Gouin in the Montreal region.

Student activism[edit]

Girard was involved in politics in his teens, notably on the Parti Québécois (PQ) Youth Association in the riding of La Prairie.

As a student of Collège Édouard-Montpetit, Girard was involved in the Parti Québécois local cell. He was then elected president of the student college association. He fought against budget cuts made by the Canadian federal government.

During the 1995 Quebec referendum, he founded a student organization supporting the yes side. He gave several speeches along with PQ leader, Jacques Parizeau.

Girard has a bachelor's degree in political sciences at the Université de Montréal and did studies for the master's degree in industrial relations.

During his stay at the Université de Montréal, he was elected leader of student association - Fédération des associations étudiantes du campus de l'Université de Montréal (FAÉCUM).

He is a former student activist, notably organizing student rallies against former minister Lloyd Axworthy's cuts in education. He then became the president-elect of the Federation des associations étudiantes du campus de l'Université de Montréal (FAECUM). FAECUM supported the yes side during the 1995 Quebec referendum.

Early political career[edit]

Upon graduation, Girard was hired by the Parti Québécois as a communication advisor. He later worked for several ministers, including François Legault, André Boisclair and Sylvain Simard as a press secretary.

At the 2003 provincial election, he was appointed as the deputy communication director for the campaign. Following the PQ's defeat, he was hired by the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), as a communication specialist. He also joinded Pauline Marois's organization as an advisor, in her attempt to quickly replace Bernard Landry.

2004 by-election[edit]

In 2004, following André Boisclair's resignation, he ran for the PQ in the Gouin riding. In the candidate selection process, he was backed by Pauline Marois and defeated high profile Bloc Québécois vice-president, Dominique Ollivier, who was supported by Bernard Bigras, Gilles Duceppe and Louise Harel.

He won his selection at the third round by a one vote margin.

Political career 2004 - 2007[edit]

Early after his election, he left Marois' organization to back Bernard Landry who was gaining support in order to get a decent confidence score at a mandatory PQ internal vote.

In 2005, Bernard Landry resigned after gaining only 75% of his party support, Girard then convinced André Boisclair to make a bid for the PQ leadership, which he won.

Since, Girard's political career has been on the fast-track. Boisclair appointed him the PQ critics in social services and as the chief strategist for the upcoming provincial election. Girard then appointed long-time friend, Pierre-Luc Paquette, as PQ's general manager.

It is said that Girard would play a leading role in an eventual Boisclair government.

General election 2007[edit]

Girard was re-appointed the PQ's candidate in the Gouin riding in 2007. He faced Françoise David, the leader of Quebec Solidaire, a left wing political party.

His electoral office was occupied by FRAPRU, a social lobby supporting more public funded housing, police were forced to evacuate the illegal protesters.

He was re-elected with almost 40% of the vote, however the PQ finished in third position.

Defeat and AMT Appointment[edit]

Girard was defeated in the September 4, 2012 Quebec general election. On September 25, 2012, he was appointed president and CEO of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), which coordinates regional transportation in the Montreal area.

He was removed from the position by Premier Philippe Couillard in August 2015, resulting in PQ claims that it was because he was a sovereignist. His large severance pay also created controversy.

Electoral record (partial)[edit]

Quebec general election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Québec solidaire Françoise David 15,483 46.03 +14.18
Parti Québécois Nicolas Girard 10,927 32.48 -8.70
Liberal Anson Duran 3,924 11.67 -8.26
Coalition Avenir Québec Bernard Labadie 2,713 8.07 +4.48*
Green Sameer Muldeen 448 1.33 -1.89
Unité Nationale Gilles Guibord 143 0.43
Total valid votes 33,638 99.00
Total rejected ballots 339 1.00
Turnout 33,977 77.91 +19.88
Electors on the lists 43,608
Québec solidaire gain from Parti Québécois Swing +11.44

* Result compared to Action démocratique

Quebec general election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Nicolas Girard 10,276 41.18 +3.93
Québec solidaire Françoise David 7,947 31.85 +5.82
Liberal Edith Keays 4,972 19.93 +1.46
Action démocratique Caroline Giroux 895 3.59 -8.06
Green Stephan Merchant 753 3.02 -2.74
Parti indépendantiste Jonathan Godin 110 0.44
Total valid votes 24,953 98.73
Total rejected ballots 321 1.27
Turnout 25,274 58.03 -12.06
Electors on the lists 43,554
Quebec general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Nicolas Girard 11,318 37.25 -20.53
Québec solidaire Françoise David 7,910 26.03 +18.06*
Liberal Nathalie Rivard 5,612 18.47 -5.85
Action démocratique Jean-Philip Ruel 3,540 11.65 +6.65
Green Yohan Tremblay 1,750 5.76 +2.04
Bloc Pot Hugô St-Onge 147 0.48 -0.51
Independent Jocelyne Leduc 109 0.36
Total valid votes 30,386 99.08
Total rejected ballots 281 0.92
Turnout 30,667 70.09 +35.63
Electors on the lists 43,752

* Result compared to UFP

Quebec provincial by-election, September 20, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Nicolas Girard 8,661 57.78 +4.44
     Liberal Edith Keays 3,645 24.32 -5.88
UFP Gaétan Breton 1 195 7.97 +3.28
Action démocratique Stéphane Deschênes 749 5.00 -3.24
Green Christian Lajoie 558 3.72 +1.76
Bloc Pot Hugô St-Onge 148 0.99 -0.57
     Independent Régent Millette 33 0.22

References[edit]