Biographies of Prominent Quebec Historical Figures
Pierre Laporte was born in Montreal in 1921. After he completed his studies, he became a journalist for Le Devoir and remained the parliamentary correspondent for the newspaper between 1946 and 1961. He was a keen observer of the provincial scene and a major critic of Maurice Duplessis. As such, he was a well known figure throughout the province of Quebec. His views on Duplessisme were set down in a perceptive, if somewhat superficial, book entitled Le vrai visage de Duplessis, published in 1960. He was elected for the Liberal party of Quebec at a by-election in Chambly in 1961. He was appointed to the provincial cabinet in 1962 as minister of municipal affairs and in 1964 as minister of cultural affairs. He held both posts until the Liberal defeat in 1966. Between 1966 and 1970 he sat on the opposition benches in the National Assembly. He was a candidate at the Liberal leadership convention that chose Robert Bourassa in 1970. After the electoral victory of the Liberal party in 1970, he was appointed minister of immigration, manpower and of labour. This appointment reflected his increasing stature within the Liberal party and the Provincial Government. On October 10, 1970, Laporte was kidnapped by members of the FLQ during the October Crisis. Soon after the invocation of the War Measures' Act by the federal government, Laporte was murdered by the Chénier cell of the FLQ. On October 20, 1971, the Canadian government issued a stamp to honour his memory. Since then, a bridge, a school and various streets have been named after him in Quebec.
© 2003 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College