Legislative Council of Quebec
Legislative Council of Quebec
Conseil législatif du Québec
|Founded||July 1, 1867|
|Disbanded||December 31, 1968|
|Preceded by||Legislative Council of the Province of Canada|
The Legislative Council of Quebec (French; Conseil législatif du Québec) was the unelected upper house of the bicameral legislature in the Canadian province of Quebec from 1867 to 1968. The Legislative Assembly was the elected lower house.
The Council was composed of 24 members, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor upon the recommendation of the Premier. Each councillor nominally represented a portion of the Province of Quebec called a division. The boundaries of these divisions were identical to the ones used for Canada East by the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada and were also identical to the boundaries still used today by the Senate of Canada for Quebec. The division boundaries were never changed to accommodate territorial expansions of Quebec in 1898 and 1912.
Members were originally appointed for life. In 1963, the rule was changed to force members to retire at age 75, but that did not apply to members who had already been appointed. In the event, the change remained entirely theoretical since the Council was abolished before it could be applied to anyone.
The Council had the right to introduce bills, except of a financial nature, and to amend, or veto bills passed by the Legislative Assembly. Its speaker, known in French as orateur, was by right a member of the Cabinet, and its members could serve as ministers or even premier. Two Quebec premiers, Charles-Eugène Boucher de Boucherville and John Jones Ross were members of the Legislative Council.
Effective December 31, 1968 the Legislative Council was abolished, and the Legislative Assembly of Quebec was renamed the National Assembly. As a consequence, Quebec now has a unicameral legislature. The establishment of the original system dates back to the Constitutional Act of 1791.
The Union Nationale government of Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand passed the legislation, known as "Bill 90", to implement the change. Previous governments had made unsuccessful attempts to eliminate the upper chamber. In fact, the first attempt dated all the way back to Félix-Gabriel Marchand, in the late 19th century. Quebec was the last Canadian province to abolish its upper house.
The large chamber that housed the Legislative Council is also known in French as le salon rouge (the red hall) and in English as "the Red Room" because of the predominance of the colour on the walls. It is now used for committee meetings and for important state functions that require a large, impressive hall, such as inductions into the National Order of Quebec.
When it was dissolved, it had 15 members of the Union Nationale and 9 Liberal Party members.
Speakers of the Legislative Council of Quebec (1867–1968)
|Charles-Eugène Boucher de Boucherville||July 15, 1867||February 27, 1873||Conservative|
|John Jones Ross||February 27, 1873||September 22, 1874||Conservative|
|Félix-Hyacinthe Lemaire||September 22, 1874||January 27, 1876||Conservative|
|John Jones Ross||January 22, 1876||March 8, 1878||Conservative|
|Henry Starnes||March 8, 1878||October 31, 1879||Liberal|
|John Jones Ross||October 31, 1879||March 4, 1882||Conservative|
|Pierre Boucher de la Bruère||March 4, 1882||April 23, 1889||Conservative|
|Henry Starnes||April 23, 1889||March 17, 1892||Liberal|
|Pierre Boucher de la Bruère||March 17, 1892||April 5, 1895||Conservative|
|Thomas Chapais||April 5, 1895||January 12, 1897||Conservative|
|Vildebon-Winceslas Larue||January 12, 1897||June 17, 1897||Conservative|
|Horace Archambeault||June 17, 1897||September 15, 1908||Liberal|
|Adélard Turgeon||February 2, 1909||November 14, 1930||Liberal|
|Jacob Nicol||November 25, 1930||July 25, 1934||Libéral|
|Hector Laferté||July 27, 1934||October 2, 1936||Liberal|
|Alphonse Raymond||October 2, 1936||January 17, 1940||Union Nationale|
|Hector Laferté||January 17, 1940||December 31, 1944||Libéral|
|Alphonse Raymond||December 31, 1944||February 1, 1950||Union Nationale|
|Jean-Louis Baribeau||February 1, 1950||July 6, 1960||Union Nationale|
|Hector Laferté||July 6, 1960||June 23, 1966||Liberal|
|Jean-Louis Baribeau||June 23, 1966||December 31, 1968||Union Nationale|
Members of the Legislative Council
- "L'Assemblée législative devient l'Assemblée nationale: 31 décembre 1968". Révolution tranquille (in French). Government of Quebec. Retrieved February 19, 2012.[permanent dead link]