Louis-Alexandre Taschereau

5 June 2017

Born in Quebec City in 1867, Louis-Alexandre Taschereau was a lawyer and politician who served as premier of Quebec from 1920 to 1936. He was proud that the Honoré Mercier Bridge was the first bridge built under the direction of French-Canadian engineers, and he gave a speech filled with patriotism and praise for the builders at the official inauguration ceremony in 1934.

What do we know about Louis-Alexandre Taschereau?

The son of a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada, Taschereau worked as a journalist before getting his law degree. Although initially destined for a brilliant legal career, he instead got involved in politics to the great surprise of his family. Given his family’s distinguished involvement in the province’s legal and political institutions, Taschereau quickly gained the trust of political authorities.

Louis-Alexandre Taschereau became a municipal councillor of his native city before becoming a liberal MNA and the Minister of Public Works and Labour. In 1920, he was elected Premier of Quebec.

Worried about how the Great Depression was putting a financial strain on so many Quebeckers, he and his government enacted the first law on unemployment. Throughout his term of office, he showed his commitment to the Quebec people by working for provincial rights over natural resources, broadcasting, fishing, and international trade.

Louis-Alexandre Taschereau sat in the National Assembly for over 35 years, a record that was only beaten in the 1990s. He was named an Officer of France’s Legion of Honour in 1924 and a Commander in 1927, and he received its Grand Cross in 1934.