Distinguished Canadian Annual Address Fall 1999
The Honourable John Charest
Premier of Québec
Canada: A Partnership Among its Peoples
Jean Charest was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec on June 24, 1958. He completed his secondary studies at Montcalm School and his college studies at the Sherbrooke Seminary. In 1980, he earned a law degree from Sherbrooke University and was subsequently accepted to the Quebec Bar in 1981.
Prior to entering provincial politics, Charest was actively involved in federal politics beginning in 1984, when he was elected as the Progressive Conservative Party MP for Sherbrooke. He assumed several significant roles, among them Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1984-86 and Minister of State for Youth in 1986, the youngest cabinet minister in Canadian history.
Charest became Quebec Liberal Party leader in 1998. In December 1998, he was elected to the Quebec National Assembly and became Leader of the Official Opposition. In April 2003, Charest became Premier. His mandate included health care reform, tax cuts, reduced spending and downsizing the government.
Last Modified: July 20, 2009