Pauline Marois (1949 - )
Pauline Marois was the first female premier in Quebec, and the only politician in Quebec history to hold the Finance, Education and Health portfolios. She was also a controversial figure, a separatist, and worked hard to create Canada’s first subsidized daycare program.
- Marois proposed a Charter of Values that seeks to ban religious symbols from public life. For example, women wouldn’t be able to wear the veil if they worked in the public service.
- Regarding her belief in the sovereignty of Québec, she said, “I arrived in the Outaouais as a French Canadian. I left the region identifying forever as a Québecer.”
- She was appointed Deputy Premier in 2001 and in 2012 became the 30th Premier of Quebec.
- When she was 30, she worked as Chief of Staff for Lise Payette, the minister responsible for the condition of women. She was afraid to take the job because she felt she was not “feminist enough.” Payette told her, ”With me, you'll become one.” Two years later, Marois replaced her former boss as that same minister.
- She gave birth to her second child shortly after being elected in 1981. She is the first woman in Canada to give birth while holding ministerial responsibilities.
- Marois is nicknamed “Dame de béton,” which means "lady of concrete,” after she faced many challenges to her leadership from prominent members of her caucus.