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René Lévesque BAnQ P243S1D865
A Statue of René Lévesque

René Lévesque (August 24, 1922 – November 1, 1987) was a Minister of the Provincial Government of Quebec from 1960-1966. He was born in New Brunswick and raised in Quebec. He was the founder of the Parti Québécois. The Parti Québécois have twice tried to get Quebec to leave Canada and become a separate country.


Lévesque was a member of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1960 until 1967. He had the position of Minister of Natural Resources.

Parti Québécois

The goal of the Parti was to give Quebec its own Sovereignty, or to make it a separate country outside of Canada. The Parti Québécois won the 1976 Quebec provincial election. Soon after coming to power, Bill 101 was made a law. This law says that French is the only official language of Quebec. At this time, Canada had two official languages; English and French. In 1980 a vote was held. This vote was a referendum where the citizens of Quebec were asked if they wish to leave Canada and become a new country. 60% of the voters wanted to stay in Canada.


For most of his life, René smoked cigarettes. On November 1, 1987 he started having chest pains. He died of a heart attack later that day while in hospital in Quebec.

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