Quebec HistoryMarianopolis College
 HomeAbout this siteSite SearchMarianopolis College Library

Biographies of Prominent Quebecers


Last revised:
August 2004


Robert-Errol Bouchette



Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University

Lawyer, journalist, librarian, and novelist, was born at Quebec . He was educated at the Séminaire de Québec and at the Université Laval. Called to the Quebec Bar in 1885, Bouchette quickly turned his attention to journalism, moving back and forth between Quebec , Montreal , and Toronto over the next several years, and contributed articles to a number of Liberal newspapers, including L'Étendard of Montreal, L'Électeur of Quebec, the Montreal Herald and the Toronto Globe. In 1890 he became the private secretary of Quebec 's Minister of Public Works, Pierre Garneau. Three years later, he returned to his original occupation and practiced law in Montreal. Moving to Ottawa in 1898, he served for two years as the private secretary of Canada's Minister of Revenue, Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, and was appointed assistant librarian of the Library of Parliament in 1903. He would hold this position until his untimely death in 1912. Elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 1905, he was appointed secretary of its Section I the following year. A liberal intellectual, Robert-Errol Bouchette showed a keen interest in economics. Many of his numerous articles and essays, and his sole novel, Robert Lozé (1903), deal with the economic advancement of French Canada (see Emparons-nous de l'industrie, 1906). This theme is the main subject of his most important book: L'indépendance économique du Canada français (1906). Concerned that American monopolies were gaining control of Quebec 's economy, he urged the provincial government to legislate in order to protect the Province's natural resources. Bouchette was exceptionally influential among the thinkers of his generation. The Quebec government implemented some of his ideas under the premiership of Sir Lomer Gouin and his works greatly influenced prominent French Canadian economist Édouard Montpetit.

[Consult the biography of Bouchette at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography]

© 2004, Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College