Daniel Breton

Daniel Breton (born June 18, 1962) is an environmental activist and politician in the Canadian province of Quebec. He was the member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques between 2012 and 2014.

Daniel Breton
Daniel Breton in 2008
MNA for Sainte-Marie—Saint-Jacques
In office
September 4, 2012  April 7, 2014
Preceded byMartin Lemay
Succeeded byManon Massé
Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks
In office
September 19  November 29, 2012
Preceded byPierre Arcand
Succeeded byYves-François Blanchet
Personal details
Born (1962-06-18) June 18, 1962
Montreal, Quebec
Political partyParti Québécois

Early life and activism

Breton was born in Montreal and studied political science at the University of Montreal and the University of Quebec at Montreal.[1] He was a principal organizer of a November 2001 march in Montreal against Canada's military intervention in Afghanistan. During the march, he was quoted as saying, "We held this demonstration because we are against a military solution to settle the conflict and the fight against terrorism. We are against terrorism, but war is not the solution."[2]

Breton subsequently founded Québec-Vert-Kyoto (later known as QuébecKyoto), which advocated in favour of the Kyoto Accord on climate change. In 2004, he led an ultimately successful protest against Hydro-Quebec's plans to launch the Suroit natural gas power project near Beauharnois.[3] The following year, he called for the Montreal Transit Corporation to invest in suburban commuter trains rather than building a new bridge between Laval and Montreal.[4]

In June 2007, Breton called on Canadian environment minister John Baird to resign over the Stephen Harper government's handling of the Kyoto Accord. Breton described Baird as "neither competent nor willing to carry in a serious, non-partisan manner, the heavy burden of the environment portfolio."[5]

Breton spoke against Quebec's plans for shale gas exploration in 2010.[6]

On November 29, 2012, Daniel Breton resigned from his post as environment minister less than two months after taking office. He was an unsuccessful candidate during the 2018 election.

Political activism

Breton helped re-launch the dormant Green Party of Quebec for the 2003 Quebec general election and was the party's candidate in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. He finished sixth against Parti Québécois incumbent Louise Harel. Breton also worked for the Green Party of Canada. He supported the sovereigntist option in the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty and signed a joint statement in favour of Quebec independence in 2007.[7]

In 2008, Breton left the Green Party to join the Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP). In joining the NDP, he was quoted as saying, "what is at stake in 2008 is not the sovereignty of Quebec but the sovereignty of Canada. We are in the process of losing control over our natural resources, over our economy, of our big businesses and our political sovereignty."[8] He ran as a star candidate for the party in the 2008 federal election and finished third in Jeanne-Le Ber.[9] He was not a candidate in the 2011 federal election, in which the NDP made a historic breakthrough to become the dominant federal party in Quebec.

In 2012, Breton joined the Parti Québécois and ran successfully for the party in the 2012 election,[10] retaining the riding of Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques for the PQ. He was the minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks from September 19 to November 29, 2012[11] in the government of Pauline Marois. He was defeated in the 2014 election by Manon Massé of Québec Solidaire.

Electoral record

2014 Quebec general election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Québec solidaireManon Massé8,43730.60+5.17
LiberalAnna Klisko8,34630.27+10.96
Parti QuébécoisDaniel Breton7,61227.61-8.07
Coalition Avenir QuébecPatrick Thauvette2,3648.57-6.21
GreenStewart Wiseman3931.43
Option nationaleNic Payne2100.76-2.33
Bloc PotMarc Bissonnette1640.59
Marxist–LeninistSerge Lachapelle470.17-0.04
Total valid votes 27,57398.86
Total rejected ballots 3181.14
Turnout 27,89165.96-2.22
Electors on the lists 42,287
Québec solidaire gain from Parti Québécois Swing  
2012 Quebec general election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Parti QuébécoisDaniel Breton10,19935.76-10.86
Québec solidaireManon Massé7,25325.43+10.03
LiberalÉtienne Collins5,53119.39-8.83
Coalition Avenir QuébecCédrick Beauregard4,21614.78+10.76*
Option nationaleDenis Monière8803.09
Middle ClassLouis Provencher1430.50
IndependentJean-Marc Labrèche1230.43
Quebec Citizens' UnionEdson Emilio870.31
Marxist–LeninistSerge Lachapelle600.21-0.17
IndependentDimitri Mourkes310.11
Total valid votes 28,52398.94
Total rejected ballots 3051.06
Turnout 28,82868.18+20.94
Electors on the lists 42,283

* Result compared to Action démocratique

2008 Canadian federal election: Jeanne-Le Ber
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
Bloc QuébécoisThierry St-Cyr17,14434.91$88,605
LiberalChristian P. Feuillette15,84132.26$58,773
New DemocraticDaniel Breton7,70815.70$28,413
ConservativeDaniel Beaudin5,49411.19$25,712
GreenVéronik Sansoucy2,3454.78$353
     Independent Darryl Gray 577 1.17
Total valid votes 49,109 100.00
Total rejected ballots 595
Turnout 49,704 57.66
Electors on the lists 86,201
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.
2003 Quebec general election: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Parti QuébécoisLouise Harel13,13855.77−4.84
LiberalRicher Dompierre6,21026.36+0.83
Action démocratiqueLouise Blackburn2,44910.40−1.11
UFPLise Alarie7883.34
Bloc PotAlex Néron4762.02
GreenDaniel Breton3671.56
Marxist–LeninistChristine Dandenault790.34−0.28
Christian DemocracyMario Richard520.22
Total valid votes 23,55998.40
Total rejected ballots 3831.60
Turnout 23,94260.09−7.92
Electors on the lists 39,843
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.


  1. Canada Votes: 2008: Results, Ridings and Candidates: Jeanne-Le Ber, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, accessed 21 May 2012.
  2. Paul Cherry, "Anti-war message on march: Downtown demo denounces violence, feds' terrorism bill," Montreal Gazette, 18 November 2001, A3.
  3. Gary Francoeur, "Suroit foes plan protest demo: Power project hearings wrap up," Montreal Gazette, 21 May 2004, A9; Gary Francoeur, "Protesters march against natural-gas-powered plant," Montreal Gazette, 30 May 2004, A2; Catherine Solyom, "'Surprised it took so long': Opponents 'very happy'," Montreal Gazette, 18 November 2004, A4.
  4. Monique Beaudin, "Transit holds its own, but car use still on rise," Montreal Gazette, 19 January 2005, A8.
  5. "Baird should resign over Tory government's Kyoto approach: Quebec coalition," Canadian Press, 5 June 2007.
  6. "D'autres voix disent que l'audience du BAPE sur le schiste est vouée à l'échec," La Presse Canadienne -- Le Fil Radio, 10 September 2010.
  7. "Former Green Party organizer joins federal NDP," Postmedia News, 8 February 2008, p. 1.
  8. "Green Party organizer to run for NDP," Montreal Gazette, 9 February 2008, A8.
  9. "Montreal supremacy up for grabs; 18 precious seats," Montreal Gazette, 15 October 2008, B3.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-08-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. Daniel Breton, on the website of the National Assembly
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