He was born in St-François-de-la-Beauce, Beauce County, Canada East, the son of Joseph Fortin and Marie-Louis Vachon. He studied law at the Université Laval and was admitted to the Quebec bar in 1882. Fortin was professor of civil and municipal law at McGill University. Fortin settled at Sainte-Rose in Laval County in 1885. He resigned his seat in the House of Commons in 1901 after he was named to the Quebec Superior Court for Montreal district.
Fortin retired from the bench in December 1919. He died at Sainte-Rose-de-Laval at the age of 79.
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