Alain Marcoux

Alain Marcoux (born August 10, 1945) is a Canadian administrator and former politician. Marcoux was a Parti Québécois member of the National Assembly of Quebec from 1976 to 1985 and was a cabinet minister in the governments of René Lévesque and Pierre-Marc Johnson. Marcoux is currently the director-general of Quebec City.

Early life and career

Marcoux was born in Saint-Norbert, Quebec and was educated at the Université de Montréal and the Université Laval, earning a degree in sociology. He later took an advanced course in administration at the École nationale d'administration publique. Marcoux taught economics and social science at the Cégep de Rimouski from 1969 to 1973 and served as director of the same institution from 1973 to 1977.

He was a Parti Québécois activist before his election, leading the party's Rimouski association from 1971 to 1974 and serving on its national executive from 1974 to 1977.[1]

Legislator and cabinet minister

Marcoux was elected to the Quebec legislature in the 1976 provincial election, defeating one-term Liberal incumbent Claude St-Hilaire in the Rimouski division. The Parti Québécois won a historic majority government in this election and Marcoux served for the next five years as a government backbencher. From 1979 to 1981, he was parliamentary assistant to the minister of social affairs.[1]

He was re-elected in the 1981 provincial election and was appointed to René Lévesque's cabinet as the minister of public works and supply on April 30, 1981.[2] On September 9, 1982, he was also named as revenue minister.[1]

Revenue minister

Marcoux announced in October 1982 that Quebec would not move forward with an earlier plan to introduce casinos to the province. In making this decision, he issued a brief statement saying that the government was concerned about "the consequences on the social climate and the quality of life of Quebeckers."[3] He later announced that Lévesque government would tax the tips earned by waiters and waitresses via a weekly paycheque reduction; this proved to be an unpopular measure and was never enacted.[4]

Public Works minister

Marcoux introduced a bill in 1983 to abolish his own department of public works and replace it with a publicly owned corporation.[5] His national assembly biography indicates that he ceased to be the public works minister on October 1, 1984, although newspaper reports from 1985 suggest that he still held the position in a later period.[1][6]

Municipal Affairs minister

René Lévesque shuffled his cabinet on March 5, 1984, shifting Marcoux from revenue to the ministry of municipal affairs.[7] Shortly after his appointment, Marcoux concluded what had previously been a contentious dispute with the government of Canada over job-creation grants to municipalities. The agreement required that Quebec municipalities go through the provincial municipal affairs department when seeking federal grants.[8]

Marcoux introduced legislation in early 1985 to consolidate and reform Quebec's municipal election laws. One of his proposals was to require that councillors running in mayoral by-elections resign their council seats.[9] Later in the same year, Marcoux announced seven hundred thousand dollars in funding to help move failing day-care centres into public buildings.[10] In May 1985, he and transport minister Guy Tardif introduced legislation to allow Montreal and South Shore residents to have public meetings on the state of municipal transit.[11]

Marcoux also introduced legislation to restrict the amount of money that municipal political parties could raise from anonymous sources. The bill died on the order paper when the 1985 election was called.[12]

Parti Québécois divisions

The Parti Québécois went through an internal crisis in late 1984 over the nature of its support for Quebec sovereignty. Leading party figures including René Lévesque sought to moderate the party's approach, while more hardline members preferred to make a new declaration of support for Quebec independence. Marcoux sided with the moderates and argued that the party should not fight the next election on the issue of sovereignty.[13]

Johnson administration

Although he sided with Lévesque on the sovereignty issue, Marcoux privately said in early 1985 that he believed Lévesque would need to resign as premier before the next election.[14] When Lévesque resigned in June on the same year, Marcoux was one of the first backers of Pierre-Marc Johnson's successful leadership bid.[15] He was kept as municipal affairs minister when Johnson announced his cabinet on October 3 and was given addition responsibilities as the minister responsible for planning on October 16.[1][16]

Marcoux was narrowly defeated in Rimouski in the 1985 provincial election, in which the Liberals won a majority government.[17]

After politics

Marcoux returned to his administrative position at the Cégep de Rimouski in 1986. He also served as director-general of the Parti Québécois from 1986 to 1988, in which capacity he was responsible for improving the party's financial state.[18] He supported the party's 1987 program, saying that it reaffirmed the PQ's social democratic policies while also stressing job creation and the environment.[19] He stood down as director-general in 1988.

He was the director of intergovernmental relations for the Union des Municipalités du Québec from 1989 to 1991 and served as director-general of Sainte-Foy, Quebec from 1991 to 2001. Marcoux was later named as deputy director-general of Quebec City in 2001 and promoted to director-general in 2006.[1][20]

Electoral record

1985 Quebec general election: Rimouski
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalMichel Tremblay15,11648.78
Parti QuébécoisAlain Marcoux14,83247.87
Union NationaleRéal Saint-Laurent8532.75
     Christian Socialist Sylvain Bernard 185 0.60
Total valid votes 30,986 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 557
Turnout 31,543 75.06
Electors on the lists 42,024
1981 Quebec general election: Rimouski
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Parti QuébécoisAlain Marcoux20,10661.04
LiberalGeorges Fafard11,14333.83
Union NationaleMaurice Bouillon1,5254.63
     Workers Communist Régine Valois 97 0.29
Marxist–LeninistNormand Fournier660.20
Total valid votes 32,937 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 206
Turnout 33,143 83.89
Electors on the lists 39,507
1976 Quebec general election: Rimouski
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Parti QuébécoisAlain Marcoux15,23253.04
LiberalClaude St-Hilaire10,08635.12
Union NationaleRaynald Voyer1,6645.79
Ralliement créditisteAlain Martel1,6515.75
     Independent Yvar Tronstad 87 0.30
Total valid votes 28,720 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 605
Turnout 29,325 86.34
Electors on the lists 33,963


  1. "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  2. "Levesque ignores two anglophones in Cabinet shuffle," Globe and Mail, 1 May 1981, p. 8.
  3. "Quebec abandons plans for casinos," Globe and Mail, 22 October 1982, p. 8.
  4. Margot Gibb-Clark, "Quebec has plan to snare taxes on tips," Globe and Mail, 5 October 193, p. 8; Graham Fraser, PQ: René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois in Power, (Toronto: MacMillan of Canada), 1984, p. 345.
  5. "Bill would kill ministry," Globe and Mail, 23 June 1983, p. 11.
  6. "Provincial government's new cabinet at a glance," Montreal Gazette, 4 October 1985, A4; "Premier responsible for second portfolio," Globe and Mail, 17 October 1985, A5.
  7. Margot Gibb-Clark, "Musical chairs deftly played," Globe and Mail, 12 March 1984, p. 4.
  8. "Quebec accepts federal grants," Globe and Mail, 14 March 1984, p. 4. It was subsequently noted that the federal government had already spent its municipal funding for the year on other projects, due to prior delays in securing a deal. See "Grants exhausted before agreement," Globe and Mail, 18 April 1984, p. 4.
  9. Karen Janigan, "Mixed reviews for plan to revise voting laws," Montreal Gazette, 31 January 1985, W1.
  10. "Day care to get help in relocating," Montreal Gazette, 18 April 1985, A4.
  11. Susan Semenak, "Public to get bigger say in Montreal public transit," Montreal Gazette, 16 May 1985, A4.
  12. "Block this end-run," Montreal Gazette, 9 December 1985, B2.
  13. Graham Fraser, "Quebec nationalists react with anger, optimism to schism," Globe and Mail, 26 November 1984, p. 5.
  14. Jennifer Robinson and Daniel Drolet, "Unrest over Levesque spreading: PQ insiders," Montreal Gazette, 23 March 1985, A1.
  15. Lewis Harris, "Johnson says he's undecided about pursuing PQ leadership," Montreal Gazette, 28 June 1985, A4.
  16. "Provincial government's new cabinet at a glance," Montreal Gazette, 4 October 1985, A4.
  17. Graham Fraser and Kaitlin Kelly, "Quebec Liberals win in landslide," Globe and Mail, 3 December 1985, A1.
  18. Daniel Drolet, "PQ council to take new look at program," Montreal Gazette, 21 February 1986, A4.
  19. Bertrand Marotte, "PQ leader's stand on independence gets strong backing," Globe and Mail, 15 June 1987, A1.
  20. "Alain Marcoux demeure en poste", Radio-Canada, 10 December 2009, accessed 8 May 2011.
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