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Claude Ryan

Claude Ryan

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Claude Ryan, was a Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and leader of the Parti libéral du Québec
Parti libéral du Québec
The Quebec Liberal Party is a centre-right political party in Quebec. It has been independent of the federal Liberal Party of Canada since 1955....

 from 1978 to 1982. He was also the National Assembly of Quebec
National Assembly of Quebec
The National Assembly of Quebec is the legislative body of the Province of Quebec. The Lieutenant Governor and the National Assembly compose the Parliament of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other British-style parliamentary systems.The National Assembly was formerly the...

 member for Argenteuil
Argenteuil (provincial electoral district)
Argenteuil is a provincial electoral district in Quebec, Canada, that elects members to the National Assembly of Quebec. It was created in 1853.-Members of Parliament of the Province of Canada:* Sydney Robert Bellingham...

 from 1979 to 1994.

Early life and career


Born in Montreal, Quebec, he was the director of Le Devoir
Le Devoir
Le Devoir is a French-language newspaper published in Montreal and distributed in Quebec and the rest of Canada. It was founded by journalist, politician, and nationalist Henri Bourassa in 1910....

, a French-language newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 available in the province of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, from 1964 to 1978. During his tenure at the head of the editorial staff he became known for his probity and his mastery of contemporary political issues. His advice was sought by nearly all the provincial governments of Quebec, left or right, and by opposition parties.

Ryan's brother, Yves Ryan
Yves Ryan
Yves Ryan is a former politician in the Canadian province of Quebec. He served as the mayor of Montreal North from 1963 until 2001, when the suburban city was amalgamated into the new city of Montreal.-Family and early career:...

, was also politically active, serving as mayor of Montreal North from 1963 to 2001.

Ryan garnered national attention during the 1970 October Crisis
October Crisis
The October Crisis was a series of events triggered by two kidnappings of government officials by members of the Front de libération du Québec during October 1970 in the province of Quebec, mainly in the Montreal metropolitan area.The circumstances ultimately culminated in the only peacetime use...

, when he was accused of participating in a plot to overthrow Robert Bourassa
Robert Bourassa
Jean-Robert Bourassa, was a politician in Quebec, Canada. He served as the 22nd Premier of Quebec in two different mandates, first from May 12, 1970, to November 25, 1976, and then from December 12, 1985, to January 11, 1994, serving a total of just under 15 years as Provincial Premier.-Early...

's recently elected government. Though the plot was later proven to be baseless, it served as a source of tension between Ryan and Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who Ryan suspected of having spread the rumour in an attempt to damage him politically.

Politics


Bourassa lost the 1976 election and his own MNA seat to the Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 under René Lévesque
René Lévesque
René Lévesque was a reporter, a minister of the government of Quebec, , the founder of the Parti Québécois political party and the 23rd Premier of Quebec...

, in part due to the editorial position of Le Devoir
Le Devoir
Le Devoir is a French-language newspaper published in Montreal and distributed in Quebec and the rest of Canada. It was founded by journalist, politician, and nationalist Henri Bourassa in 1910....

under Ryan's stewardship. Subsequently, Ryan became the Quebec Liberal Party leader from 1978 to 1982, where he opposed Premier
Premier of Quebec
The Premier of Quebec is the first minister of the Canadian province of Quebec. The Premier is the province's head of government and his title is Premier and President of the Executive Council....

 Lévesque in two prominent campaigns.

Ryan led the victorious "No" side in the 1980 Quebec referendum
1980 Quebec referendum
The 1980 Quebec referendum was the first referendum in Quebec on the place of Quebec within Canada and whether Quebec should pursue a path toward sovereignty. The referendum was called by Quebec's Parti Québécois government, which strongly favoured secession from Canada...

 on sovereignty which captured 60% of the vote. One particular turning point in the campaign was when Quebec PQ cabinet minister Lise Payette
Lise Payette
Lise Payette, is a Quebec politician, feminist, writer and columnist. She was a Parti Québécois minister under the leadership of Premier René Lévesque and National Assembly of Quebec member for the riding of Dorion....

 criticized Ryan's wife as an "Yvette", a stay-at-home character in a popular Quebec storybook, then further suggesting that all females who were against sovereignty were "Yvettes". As Ryan's wife was particularly active in social and charity circles, this attack outraged many women voters in that province, and many of them voted "No" in the referendum.

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Trudeau had been particularly critical in his memoirs of Ryan. Trudeau first criticized the performance of the Quebec Liberal party, was "drowning in a swamp of its own verbiage" during a televised National Assembly debate on sovereignty, in contrast to the Parti Québécois which had masterfully coordinated its speakers. Trudeau then stated that Ryan's initial campaign efforts of talking to small groups of people wasn't sufficient, which resulted in federal cabinet minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 being sent in to help the federalist side. This helped to perpetuate the strained relationship between Ryan and Trudeau.

Ryan then ran an old-fashioned campaign in the 1981 provincial election
Quebec general election, 1981
The Quebec general election of 1981 was held on April 13, 1981, to elect members of the National Assembly of the Province of Quebec, Canada. The incumbent Parti Québécois, led by René Lévesque, won re-election, defeating the Quebec Liberal Party, led by Claude Ryan.The PQ won re-election despite...

, being generally TV-unfriendly as he refused to tailor sound bites for the evening news. The results of the vote saw Ryan's Liberals finish just 3% behind Lévesque's incumbent Parti Québécois in the popular vote but the latter won twice as many seats. Ryan was succeeded as MNA opposition leader and party chief by former premier, Robert Bourassa
Robert Bourassa
Jean-Robert Bourassa, was a politician in Quebec, Canada. He served as the 22nd Premier of Quebec in two different mandates, first from May 12, 1970, to November 25, 1976, and then from December 12, 1985, to January 11, 1994, serving a total of just under 15 years as Provincial Premier.-Early...

, who was making a political comeback.

After the Liberals regained power under Bourassa in the 1985 election
Quebec general election, 1985
The Quebec general election of 1985 was held on December 2, 1985, to elect members of the National Assembly of the Province of Quebec, Canada. The Quebec Liberal Party, led by former premier Robert Bourassa, defeated the incumbent Parti Québécois, led by premier Pierre-Marc Johnson.This election...

, Ryan served as Minister of Education.

Many in English Canada might remember him for his work against the establishment of a completely independent Quebec, separate from Canada. Those who followed his career, as a publisher and later as a politician, have noted that he also opposed the existing federal status quo, which he considered as too centralized, despite statements to the contrary by the then-Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Retirement


He retired from politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 in September 1994 and died in Montreal, on February 9, 2004, at 4:20 a.m
12-hour clock
The 12-hour clock is a time conversion convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods called ante meridiem and post meridiem...

, of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer
Gastric cancer, commonly referred to as stomach cancer, can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs; particularly the esophagus, lungs, lymph nodes, and the liver...

. In 1995, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

. In 2006, he was posthumously made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec
National Order of Quebec
The National Order of Quebec, termed officially in French as l'Ordre national du Québec, and in English abbreviation as the Order of Quebec, is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of Quebec...

.http://www.premier.gouv.qc.ca/general/communiques/2006/juin/com20060601.htm

After his death, he was the target of bitter insults by controversial sovereignist film director Pierre Falardeau
Pierre Falardeau
Pierre Falardeau was a Quebec film and documentary director, pamphleteer and noted activist for Quebec independence.-Profile:Falardeau studied anthropology at university and he taught that subject for a brief period...

 who said of him: “Claude Ryan était une pourriture et sa mort est une bonne chose de faite” (Claude Ryan was completely rotten and his death is quite a good thing done). Falardeau's comments met with general disapproval from all sides of the political spectrum.

See also

  • Politics of Quebec
    Politics of Quebec
    The politics of Quebec are centred on a provincial government resembling that of the other Canadian provinces, namely a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The capital of the province is Quebec City, where the Lieutenant Governor, Premier, the legislature, and cabinet reside.The...

  • List of Quebec general elections
  • List of Quebec leaders of the Opposition
  • Timeline of Quebec history
    Timeline of Quebec history
    This article presents a detailed timeline of Quebec history. Events taking place outside Quebec, for example in English Canada, the United States, Britain or France, may be included when they are considered to have had a significant impact on Quebec's history....


External links