The Current

Jacques Parizeau: How I became a separatist

One of the architects of the Quebec sovereignty movement, former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, has died at the age of 84. We go back to the train ride that was his epiphany on an independent Quebec.
Quebec Premier and leader of the YES forces Jacques Parizeau shouts "Vive Le Quebec" to supporters, following the defeat of the separatists in the Quebec Referendum. (Reuters)

Jacques Parizeau started his career as an economist, and then entered the fold of politics when he joined the Parti Quebecois in 1969.

When the PQ were elected to office, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance. He went on to win the PQ leadership in 1988,  a victory which led him to the role of Premier in the 1990s.

It was during that term he ordered the Quebec referendum - but lost the Yes vote by just over 1%.

Here is Jacques Parizeau speaking to Terence McKenna on the National in 1995, about how one train journey across Canada changed his vision for Quebec forever.