Option Nationale leader Jean-Martin Aussant
Jean-Martin Aussant is one of the newest political leaders in Quebec, having left the Parti Québecois to start a new party, Option Nationale.
Aussant has been present in Quebec politics since 2008 when he was elected under the PQ banner in Nicolet-Yamaska (now called Nicolet-Bécancour.)
Aussant is known in the Quebec political realm as a serious separatist with a strong understanding and knowledge of finances and economy.
In May 2011, Aussant took part in the "ABCD for Sovereignty," a team organized by the PQ to push the advantages of Quebec separatism.
"Federalists are trying to scare the people of Quebec with economy and finance," he said at the time.
A month later, Aussant left the PQ and launched his own party, Option Nationale.
The new leader has not shied away from criticizing his former leader, Pauline Marois, saying she had softened her stance on Quebec independence in order to seek more electoral support.
When asked whether Marois should quit politics, Aussant once answered a simple, "yes."
Twelve of the 13 members of the PQ's executive board in Nicolet-Yamaska followed joined Aussant in his new political endeavour.
At the time, Aussant said "there are no parties that suggest a clear want for Quebec independence. We must talk to the Quebecois about the advantages of sovereignty. There are no parties currently doing this in a sincere and engaged way."
Prior to the election call, Aussant entered into a non-competition agreement with Québec Solidaire for two ridings.
The two parties agreed not to run candidates to compete against each other's leaders in Gouin and Nicolet-Bécancour.
Aussant acquired a bachelor's degree in business administration from Laval University and a master's degree in economic analysis from the Université de Montréal.
He had taken on doctorate studies in Spain but left in 1997 to join Barra International as a consultant.
His curriculum vitae lists a variety of positions, including coordinator and teaching assistant in microeconomics at the Université de Montréal, director of quantitative research at Addenda Capital and vice-president at Morgan Stanley Capital International in England.