Lise Thibault

Lise Thibault
27th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
In office
January 30, 1997  June 7, 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Roméo LeBlanc
Adrienne Clarkson
Michaëlle Jean
Premier Lucien Bouchard
Bernard Landry
Jean Charest
Preceded by Jean-Louis Roux
Succeeded by Pierre Duchesne
Personal details
Born (1939-04-02) April 2, 1939
Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec
Spouse(s) René Thibault
Parents Paul Trudel
Laurenza Wolfe
Profession Civil servant, Teacher, Journalist

Lise Thibault (French pronunciation: [liz tibo]; born 2 April 1939) was appointed the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec in 1997 and later sentenced to jail for fraud and ordered to repay the government.

Early life

Born in Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec, she was the eldest daughter of Paul Trudel and Laurenza Wolfe. She was educated at the Académie Marie-Anne de Montréal, and then went on to teachers' college at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme. She married René Thibault in 1959.[1] Thibault was permanently disabled in a tobogganing accident as a teenager, and uses a wheelchair.[2][3]


Thibault taught with the adult education department of the Milles-Îles and Des Écores school boards from 1973 to 1978. She worked for Télé-Métropole from 1977 to 1981. From 1982 to 1984 she was a host and researcher at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as for programs about family and community issues. She was the vice president for Quebec's Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) from 1987 to 1993. She was President and CEO of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec from 1993 to 1995.[1]

She was closely associated with the federal Liberal Party for many years, and on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, the Governor General appointed her Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, following the resignation of Jean-Louis Roux in 1997. She became Quebec's first female viceroy, and the first disabled lieutenant governor in Canada. In February 2005 Thibault suffered a stroke.[4] She was one of the longest serving lieutenant governors in Canadian history, serving for over ten years.

Trial and imprisonment for fraud

Beginning in 2007, Thibault was accused of spending beyond the limits of her expense account.[5] Questions on her spending continued after her departure, with federal and provincial auditors general pointing to $700,000 in unjustified expenses.[6] Among the expenses were:[7]

The files were turned over to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for investigation. She was criminally charged for offences involving fraud, breach of trust, forgery and fabrication of false documents related to the misspending of public funds during her ten years in office.[8] Thibault's lawyer argued unsuccessfully in Quebec Superior Court that Thibault should receive sovereign immunity, because "the Crown's prosecution cannot prosecute the Crown"—referring to her prior office as the Queen's representative in Quebec.[9]

In September 2015 she was sentenced 18 months in jail and was ordered to repay the government $300,000 after pleading guilty to fraud and breach of trust in 2014.[10] Judge Carol St-Cyr outlined her crimes, pointing out that she "took advantage of holes in the system and abused her position of authority to pay for trips, golf lessons and birthday parties... [and] forgot that her role as lieutenant-governor was to be a good example for Quebecers."[11]

On 24 February 2016, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld Thibault's 18-month sentence,[12] and on February 25 2016 Thibault surrendered at the Quebec City Detention Centre.[13][14][15] She was transferred in late February 2016 to the Leclerc Detention Centre in Laval, Quebec.[16][17]

Titles, styles, honours, and arms

Viceregal styles of
Lise Thibault
Reference style
  • Her Honour the Honourable
  • Son Honneur l'honorable
Spoken style
  • Your Honour
  • Votre Honneur
Alternative style
  • Ma'am
  • Madame


As a former viceregal representative of Elizabeth II, as Queen in Right of Quebec, Thibault is styled The Honourable for life.[18][19][20]


Lise Thibault Has Received 3 Honorary Degrees

Province/State Date School Degree
 Quebec November 1999 Concordia University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [21]
 Quebec 2 June 2001 Bishop's University Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) [22]
 Massachusetts 2003 Anna Maria College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)



  1. 1 2 "Lise Thibault". The Great Names of the French Canadian Community. 2000. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
  2. "Lise Thibault, ex-Quebec lieutenant-governor, testifies at her fraud trial". CBC News. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  3. "ARCHIVED - Celebrating Women's Achievements". Collections Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  4. "Editorial: Former lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault 'highly reprehensible' behaviour justly punished". Montreal Gazette. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  5. Racine, Jean-François. "Huit dates importantes de la saga Lise Thibault". Journal de Quebec. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  6. "Auditors challenge $700,000 in spending by Quebec's former Lt.-Gov.". CBC News. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  7. "Thibault defends expenses". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  8. The Globe and Mail "Former Quebec lieutenant-governor facing charges"
  9. Canadian Press. "The court is not amused: Canadian judge rejects royal privilege argument." The Vancouver Sun, August 27, 2012.
  10. "Lise Thibault, ex-Quebec lieutenant-governor, pleads guilty to 6 charges". CBC News. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  11. "Lise Thibault ordered to repay $300K, serve 18 months". CBC. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  12. "Lise Thibault's 18-month sentence challenge rejected by Quebec Court of Appeal". CBC News. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  13. "Former Lt-Gov Thibault now in jail". CTV News. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  14. "Ex-lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault begins prison sentence in Quebec City". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  15. "Former Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault behind bars". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  16. Racine, Jean-François. "Lise Thibault a quitté Québec". Le Journal de Quebec. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  17. "À sa demande, Lise Thibault change de prison". TVA Nouvelles. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  18. "Titles". Canadian Heritage. Government of Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  19. "Table of Titles to be used in Canada". Government of Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  20. Hicks, Ryan. "Lise Thibault should be stripped of pension, title: Democracy Watch". CBC News. Canadian Boradcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  23. Canadian Heraldic Authority (Volume III), Ottawa, 1999
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