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Bourassa becomes Quebec Premier once more in 1985

The Story


In 1985, Robert Bourassa has done it. He wins back the premier's seat after a devastating election loss nine years earlier. At party headquarters, Bourassa focuses on his astounding victory. "I don't think there are many comebacks on the political scene like this one," Bourassa says in his acceptance speech heard in this CBC Radio clip. But the victory is not as sweet as it could be. Bourassa loses the seat in his own riding, which is a PQ stronghold. Another Liberal member resigns his seat so Bourassa has a place in the National Assembly. Now Bourassa can turn his energies toward more important post-election business - this time it will be constitutional reform. 

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Dec. 3, 1985
Reporter: Jeannette Matthey
Duration: 1:20

Did You know?


. The Liberal party secured 99 seats in this election while the PQ hung on to only 23.
. In 1985 Germain Leduc resigned the seat he won against PQ MLA Michel Larouche to Bourassa.
. In a 1985 byelection Bourassa defeated PQ candidate Francine LaLonde by 5,273 votes.
. Bourassa supported the Meech Lake Accord - a constitutional agreement that failed without ratification in 1990. The accord was meant to ratify Quebec's conditions for signing the 1982 Constitution Act.

. The Meech Lake Accord was supposed to bring distinct society status to Quebec but Newfoundland and Manitoba refused to ratify the deal.
• Bourassa won another overwhelming victory in the provincial election on Sept. 25, 1989. His Liberals took 99 seats, and the PQ won 29 in what The Globe and Mail called a "surprisingly strong showing."

. In 1994 Robert Bourassa retired from politics. He was replaced by Liberal Premier Daniel Johnson. The Johnson family produced three premiers who ironically belonged to three different political parties. Daniel Johnson Sr. (Union Nationale) was also premier of Quebec in the late-1960s and Pierre Marc Johnson (Parti Québécois)in the 1980s.
. Barry Came in Maclean's on Bourassa's retirement: "For a man [Bourassa] who has come to epitomize passionless politics, it was a remarkable farewell."

. Lysiane Gagnon from The Globe and Mail: "Bourassa's departure may subtly alter the political map."


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