Québec history turns a page when Premier Maurice Duplessis dies on September 7, 1959. Duplessis’ right-hand man, Paul Sauvé, is perceived as the man of the hour. The Québec Parliament acclaims him unanimously as the next Premier. Knowing that an election will be fast approaching, Sauvé engages in a race against time, and his health suffers. In just four months he drives the adoption of 66 laws, many of a progressive nature. He agrees in principle to state-supported hospitalization insurance, supports laws favouring workers and unions, and protects Québec public service from dismissals caused by partisan political decisions. Even more importantly, and in stark contrast with his predecessor, Sauvé depersonalizes the State, presenting himself as the Prime Minister of all Quebecers, regardless of their political allegiances.Tragically, after just 112 days in power, Sauvé dies from a heart attack. But he leaves an immense legacy as the precursor of the Quiet Revolution, a man whose reforms ushered in a modern era in Québec’s governance.
(This video is available only in French)