Georges Pelletier

16 February 2017

As editor-in-chief of Le Devoir, Georges Pelletier launched a petition to get the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal to rename the Harbour Bridge the “Jacques Cartier Bridge.” His mission was a success, as the bridge has borne the name of this French explorer and discoverer since June 1934.


What do you know about Georges Pelletier?

After getting his bachelor of arts and a law degree, Georges Pelletier started his career as a lawyer in Rivière-du-Loup, where he also wrote for the local newspaper. Journalism started taking more and more of his time, and he gave up his legal practice in 1908 to become a journalist for LAction catholique. Over the next two years, Georges Pelletier worked as a reporter and political correspondent in Ottawa.

When Le Devoir was launched in 1910, Georges Pelletier joined the newspaper first as a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa and then as an editorial assistant in Montreal. In 1932, he became the publication’s editor-in-chief. During his tenure, he created key relationships with political leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, all while covering the First World War and denouncing Canada’s participation in this conflict. Pelletier also helped straighten out the newspaper’s finances.

His career took an unexpected turn when he collapsed while waiting for a train in Edmonton, after which he could no longer use a typewriter.

When Georges Pelletier had another health relapse in August 1946, the newspaper’s board of directors temporarily relieved him of his duties and gave Archbishop Joseph Charbonneau the role of first-named trustee so that the management of Le Devoir wouldn’t fall into the hands of politicians or financial groups. Georges Pelletier died in January 1947.

Photo : Archives Le Devoir