Camille Laurin

Camille Laurin (May 6, 1922 March 11, 1999) was a psychiatrist and Parti Québécois (PQ) politician in the province of Quebec, Canada. MNA member for the riding of Bourget, he is considered the father of Quebec's language law known informally as "Bill 101".

Camille Laurin
Bust of Camille Laurin
Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Bourget
In office
Preceded byPaul-Émile Sauvageau
Succeeded byJean Boudreault
In office
Preceded byJean Boudreault
Succeeded byClaude Trudel
In office
Preceded byHuguette Boucher-Bacon
Succeeded byDiane Lemieux
Personal details
Born(1922-05-06)May 6, 1922
Charlemagne, Quebec
DiedMarch 11, 1999(1999-03-11) (aged 76)
Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec
Political partyParti Québécois


Born in Charlemagne, Quebec, Laurin obtained a degree in psychiatry from the Université de Montréal where he came under the influence of the Roman Catholic priest, Lionel Groulx. After earning his degree, Laurin went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked at the Boston State Hospital. Following a stint in Paris, France, in 1957, he returned to practice in Quebec. In 1961, he authored the preface of the book Les fous crient au secours, which described the conditions of psychiatric hospitals of the time.

He was one of the early founders of the Quebec sovereignty movement. As a senior cabinet minister in the first PQ government elected in the 1976 Quebec election, he was the guiding force behind Bill 101, the legislation that placed restrictions on the use of English on public signs and in the workplace of large companies, and strengthened the position of French as the only official language in Quebec.

Laurin resigned from his cabinet position on November 26, 1984 because of a disagreement with Lévesque on the future of the sovereignty movement. He resigned from his seat in the National Assembly on January 25, 1985. He was elected once again to the Assembly on September 12, 1994 but did not run in the 1998 election for health reasons.

He died after a long battle with cancer.


  • Les fous crient au secours (1961)

See also

  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  • Biography on
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacques-Yvan Morin
Deputy Premier of Quebec
March 5, 1984 – November 27, 1984
Succeeded by
Marc-André Bédard
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