Bouchard, Lucien

Bouchard, Lucien

(lüsyăN` bo͞oshär`), 1938–, French-Canadian separatist leader, b. Quebec. A lawyer and a political ally of Brian MulroneyMulroney, Brian
(Martin Brian Mulroney) , 1939–, Canadian prime minister (1984–93). Raised in Quebec in a working class family, Mulroney was a successful bilingual lawyer who became active in provincial politics in the 1970s.
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, Bouchard served under him as Canada's ambassador to France (1985–88) and environment minister (1989–90). In 1990 he broke with Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative party over the failed Meech Lake AccordMeech Lake Accord,
set of constitutional reforms designed to induce Quebec to accept the Canada Act. The Accord's five basic points, proposed by Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa, include a guarantee of Quebec's special status as a "distinct society" and a commitment to Canada's
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 and formed the Bloc Québécois, a QuebecQuebec
, Fr. Québec , province (2001 pop. 7,237,479), 594,860 sq mi (1,553,637 sq km), E Canada. Geography

Quebec is bounded on the N by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, on the E by the Labrador area of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of St.
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 separatist party intended to complement the provincial Parti QuébécoisParti Québécois
(PQ), provincial political party committed to the independence of Quebec. Founded in 1968, it soon became a force in provincial elections. In 1976, led by René Lévesque, it captured control of the provincial assembly.
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 (PQ) on the federal level. In the 1993 elections the party became the second largest in the Canadian parliament, and the charismatic Bouchard became leader of the opposition. He lost a leg to a life-threatening bacterial infection in 1994 but returned to his seat in Commons and in 1995 nearly led separatism's supporters to victory in a Quebec referendum. Bouchard resigned from the parliament in 1996 to become Quebec's premier and leader of the PQ; he resigned as premier and party leader early in 2001.
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