Richard Holden (politician)

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Richard B. Holden
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Westmount-Saint-Georges
Personal details
Born (1931-07-07)July 7, 1931
Died September 18, 2005(2005-09-18) (aged 74)
Marché Atwater apartment, Montreal
Cause of death Suicide
Nationality Canadian
Political party Independent
Children Arthur, Christopher, Caroline
Residence Westmount, Quebec
Occupation Politician and lawyer

Richard B. Holden (7 July 1931 – September 18, 2005) was a lawyer and member of the provincial legislature of Quebec, Canada.[1] An obituary describes him as cynical and self-deprecating, a boulevardier and a maverick.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Holden's father was an engineer; his grandfather found fortune with a company that procured boots for soldiers during World War I . Holden studied law at McGill University and the Université de Montréal and political science at the Universite de Grenoble.

He divorced Helene Papachristidis in 1981. He was survived by children Christopher, Arthur, and Caroline.

Political career[edit]

Holden first entered politics running as an independent candidate in the district of Westmount-Saint-Georges in 1962. He stood opposed to Hydro-Québec's nationalization. He finished second, ahead of the Union Nationale candidate.

Holden also ran unsuccessfully for the Progressive Conservatives in the 1979 federal election in the riding of Dollard placing a distant second place.

He was elected to the legislature in the 1989 election in Westmount as a candidate of the federalist, English-rights Equality Party, but was expelled from the party caucus for balking at party discipline.

After briefly sitting as an independent, he shocked his predominantly English-speaking constituents when he crossed the floor to join the sovereigntist Parti Québécois (PQ) in 1992. Holden's brother, Rodney, stopped speaking to him and threatened to change his name as a result of the defection.

Holden ran in the neighbouring Verdun riding in the 1994 election as a PQ candidate. However, Verdun was as strongly federalist as his old riding, and he was heavily defeated. After the election, the PQ government appointed Holden to the province's rental housing board, on which he served until 1999.


Suffering from chronic, debilitating back pain, Holden committed suicide at the age of 74 by jumping from the eighth-floor balcony of his Marché Atwater apartment in Montreal.[3]


  1. ^ "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec. 
  2. ^ © The Gazette (Montreal) 2005. "Richard Holden on DTNicholson's". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  3. ^ Le Canal Nouvelles (2005-09-20). "L'ancien député Richard Holden s'enlève la vie" (in French). Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
National Assembly of Quebec
Preceded by
Richard French (Liberal)
MNA for Westmount
Succeeded by
District merged with Saint-Louis