National Assembly of Quebec
The National Assembly of Quebec (French: Assemblée nationale du Québec) is the legislative body of the province of Quebec in Canada. Legislators are called MNAs (Members of the National Assembly; French: députés). The Queen in Right of Quebec, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec and the National Assembly compose the Legislature of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other Westminster-style parliamentary systems.
National Assembly of Quebec
Assemblée nationale du Québec
|42nd Quebec Legislature|
|Founded||December 31, 1968|
|Preceded by||Legislative Assembly of Quebec|
J. Michel Doyon
since September 24, 2015
since November 26, 2018
Opposition House Leader
|Seats||125 members of Assembly|
|October 1, 2018|
|2022 or earlier|
|Parliament Building, Quebec City, Quebec|
The National Assembly was formerly the lower house of Quebec's legislature and was then called the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. In 1968, the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished and the remaining house was renamed. The office of President of the National Assembly is equivalent to speaker in other legislatures. The Coalition Avenir Québec currently has the most seats in the Assembly following the 2018 Quebec general election.
The Legislative Assembly was created in Lower Canada by the Constitutional Act 1791. It was abolished from 1841 to 1867 under the 1840 Act of Union, which merged Upper Canada and Lower Canada into a single colony named the Province of Canada.
The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly known as the British North America Act), which created Canada, split the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada was thus restored as the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Quebec.
In 1968, Bill 90 was passed by the government of Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand, abolishing the Legislative Council and renaming the Legislative Assembly the "National Assembly", in line with the more strident nationalism of the Quiet Revolution. Before 1968, there had been various unsuccessful attempts at abolishing the Legislative Council, which was analogous to the Senate of Canada.
In 1978, television cameras were brought in for the first time to televise parliamentary debates. The colour of the walls was changed to suit the needs of television and the salon vert (green hall) became the salon bleu (blue hall).
Constructed between 1877 and 1886, the Parliament Building features the Second Empire architectural style that was popular for prestigious buildings both in Europe (especially France where the style originated) and the United States during the latter 19th century.
Although somewhat more sober in appearance and lacking a towering central belfry, Quebec City's Parliament Building bears a definite likeness to the Philadelphia City Hall, another Second Empire edifice in North America which was built during the same period. Even though the building's symmetrical layout with a frontal clock tower in the middle is typical of legislative institutions of British heritage, the architectural style is believed to be unique among parliament buildings found in other Canadian provincial capitals. Its facade presents a pantheon representing significant events and people of the history of Quebec.
Additional buildings were added next to the Parliament Buildings:
- Édifice André-Laurendeau was added from 1935 to 1937 to house the Ministry of Transport.
- Édifice Honoré-Mercier was added from 1922 to 1925 to house the Ministries of the Treasury (Finances), the Attorney General and the Secretary General of the National Assembly.
- Édifice Jean-Antoine-Panet was added from 1931 to 1932 for the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Édifice Pamphile-Le May added from 1910 to 1915 for the Library of the National Assembly, various other government offices and for the Executive Council.
General elections are held every five years or less. Any person holding Canadian citizenship and who has resided in Quebec for at least six months qualifies to be on the electoral list.
Normally, the leader of the political party with the largest number of elected candidates is asked by the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec to form the government as premier. (In French, it is rendered as premier ministre. The term "prime minister" is commonly used by the government as a literal translation of the French term. In the other Canadian Provinces, the head of government are referred to in English as "premier". The title is similarly rendered "premier ministre" in French, too. The term literally means "First Minister". When used in the plural, "First Ministers" in Canada refers collectively to the Provincial Premiers and the Prime Minister of Canada).
Quebec's territory is divided into 125 electoral districts (ridings). In each riding, the candidate who receives the most votes is elected and becomes a Member of the National Assembly (MNA). This is known as the first-past-the-post voting system. It tends to produce strong disparities in the number of seats won compared to the popular vote, perhaps best exemplified by the 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1998 elections.
Quebec elections have also tended to be volatile since the 1970s, producing a large turnover in Assembly seats. Consequently, existing political parties often lose more than half their seats with the rise of new or opposition political parties. For instance, the 1970 and 1973 saw the demise of the Union Nationale and rise of the Parti Québécois which managed to take power in 1976. The 1985 and 1994 elections saw the Liberals gain and lose power in landslide elections. The 2018 elections saw the rise of the Coalition Avenir Québec which managed to take power for the first time.
Cabinet ministers are in bold, party leaders are in italic and the president of the National Assembly is marked with a †.
Last update: September 17, 2019
Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) swear two oaths: one to the Canadian monarch as Quebec's head of state, and a second one to the people of Quebec. Previous Parti Québécois premier René Lévesque added the second oath.
Most recent election
|Political party||Party leader||MNAs||Votes|
|Coalition Avenir Québec||François Legault||125||22||21||74||53
|Parti Québécois||Jean-François Lisée||125||30||28||10||18
|Québec solidaire||Manon Massé, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois||125||3||3||10||7
|New Democratic||Raphaël Fortin||59||–||–||–||–||22,863||New||0.57||New|
|Citoyens au pouvoir du Québec||Stéphane Blais (intérim)||56||–||–||–||–||13,768||12,477
|Bloc Pot||Jean-Patrick Berthiaume||29||–||–||–||–||4,657||1,967
|Parti nul||Renaud Blais||16||–||–||–||–||3,659||3,880
|Parti libre||Michel Leclerc||8||–||–||–||–||1,678||New||0.04||New|
|Équipe autonomiste||Stéphane Pouleur||12||–||–||–||–||1,138||738
|Parti 51||Hans Mercier||5||–||–||–||–||1,117||New||0.03||New|
|Changement intégrité pour notre Québec||Eric Emond||7||–||–||–||–||693||New||0.02||New|
|Alliance provinciale||Sébastien Roy||2||–||–||–||–||521||New||0.01||New|
|Voie du peuple||Marc Alarie||1||–||–||–||–||190||New||–||New|
|Parti culinaire||Jean-Louis Thémistocle||1||–||–||–||–||169||New||–||New|
|Option nationale||n/a||Merged with QS||0.73|
|Parti équitable||Patricia Domingos||–||–||–||–||–||Did not campaign||0.04|
|Mon pays le Québec||n/a||Party dissolved||0.01|
|Unité Nationale||n/a||Party dissolved||0.01|
|Quebec – Democratic Revolution||n/a||Party dissolved||–|
|Parti indépendantiste||n/a||Party dissolved||–|
|Quebec Citizens' Union||n/a||Party dissolved||–|
Changes during the 42nd Quebec Legislature
|Number of members
per party by date
|Oct 2||Oct 4||Oct 5||Dec 10||Mar 11||Aug 30||Dec 2|
|Coalition Avenir Québec||74||75||76|
One of the members of the National Assembly is elected as the President of the Assembly (a post called Speaker in most other Westminster System assemblies). Any member of the Assembly is eligible to stand for election, other than party leaders and Cabinet ministers. The election is the first order of business for a newly elected Assembly. It is conducted by secret ballot of all members, with successive rounds of voting if needed before one candidate gains a majority of the votes.
The President of the Assembly is the arbiter of the parliamentary debates between the members of the government and the members of the Opposition. In order for a member to address the Assembly, the member speak through the President of the Assembly. The President is usually a member of the governing party, although there is no requirement for this.
The proceedings of the National Assembly are broadcast across Quebec on the cable television network Canal de l'Assemblée nationale.
- An Act respecting the National Assembly, CQLR 1982, c. A-23.1, s. 2
- Useful Information – National Assembly of Québec. Assnat.qc.ca (October 29, 2012). Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- Dougherty, ,Kevin. "A 'government of all Quebecers,' Couillard says". The Gazette. Montreal. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "Official results after the counting of votes". Élections Québec. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- "Political parties". Élections Québec. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- La procédure parliamentaire du Québec, 3e édition (Québec: Assemblée nationale du Québec, 2012), pp. 140-147.