National Assembly of Quebec

"Blue Chamber" redirects here. For other uses, see Blue Room (disambiguation).
Assemblée nationale du Québec
National Assembly of Quebec (English)
41st Quebec Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Founded December 31, 1968 (1968-12-31)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of Quebec
J. Michel Doyon
Since 24 September 2015
Jacques Chagnon, PLQ
Since 5 April 2011
Philippe Couillard, PLQ
Since 23 April 2014
Jean-Marc Fournier, PLQ
Since 23 April 2014
Jean-François Lisée, PQ
Since 7 October 2016
Opposition House Leader
Pascal Bérubé, PQ
Since 13 October 2016
Seats 125 members of Assembly
Political groups

Governing Party

Opposition Parties

Last election
April 7, 2014
Next election
October 1, 2018 or earlier
Meeting place
Parliament Building, Quebec City, Quebec

The National Assembly of Quebec (French: Assemblée nationale du Québec) is the legislative body of the Province of Quebec in Canada. Legislators are called MNAs (Members of the National Assembly; French: députés). The Lieutenant Governor,[1] and the National Assembly compose the Legislature of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other Westminster-style parliamentary systems.

The National Assembly was formerly the lower house of Quebec's legislature and was then called the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. In 1968, the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished and the remaining house was renamed.

The current President of the National Assembly (equivalent to speaker in other legislatures) is Liberal MNA Jacques Chagnon.


The Legislative Assembly was created in Lower Canada by the Constitutional Act of 1791. It was abolished from 1841 to 1867 under the 1840 Act of Union which merged Upper Canada and Lower Canada into a single colony named the Province of Canada.

The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act), which created Canada, split the Province of Canada into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada was thus restored as the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Quebec.

The original Quebec legislature was bicameral, consisting of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.

In 1968, Bill 90 was passed by the government of Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand, abolishing the Legislative Council and renaming the Legislative Assembly the "National Assembly", in line with the more strident nationalism of the Quiet Revolution. Before 1968, there had been various unsuccessful attempts at abolishing the Legislative Council, which was analogous to the Senate of Canada.

In 1978, television cameras were brought in for the first time to televise parliamentary debates. The colour of the walls was changed to suit the needs of television and the salon vert (green hall) became the salon bleu (blue hall).

Parliament Building

Constructed between 1877 and 1886, the Parliament Building features the Second Empire architectural style[2] that was popular for prestigious buildings both in Europe (especially France where the style originated) and the United States during the latter 19th century. Although somewhat more sober in appearance and lacking a towering central belfry, Quebec City's Parliament Building bears a definite likeness to the Philadelphia City Hall, another Second Empire edifice in North America which was built during the same period. Even though the building's symmetrical layout with a frontal clock tower in the middle is typical of legislative institutions of British heritage, the architectural style is believed to be unique among parliament buildings found in other Canadian provincial capitals . Its facade presents a pantheon representing significant events and people of the history of Quebec.

The Fontaine de Tourny east of the Parliament Building

Additional buildings were added next to the Parliament Buildings:


General elections are held every five years or less. Any person holding Canadian citizenship and who has resided in Quebec for at least six months qualifies to be on the electoral list.

Normally, the leader of the political party with the largest number of elected candidates is asked by the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec to form the government as premier. (In French, it is rendered as premier ministre. The term "prime minister" is commonly used by the government as a literal translation of the French term. In Canada's other provinces, whose heads of government are referred to in English as "premier", the title is similarly rendered "premier ministre" in French, too. The term literally means "First Minister," a term in Canada when referred to plural, "First Ministers," refers collectively to the Provincial Premiers and the Prime Minister of Canada).

Quebec's territory is divided into 125 electoral districts (ridings). In each riding, the candidate who receives the most votes is elected and becomes a Member of the National Assembly (MNA). This is known as the first-past-the-post voting system. It tends to produce strong disparities in the number of seats won compared to the popular vote, perhaps best exemplified by the 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1998 elections.

Quebec elections have also tended to be volatile since the 1970s, producing a large turnover in Assembly seats. Consequently, existing political parties often lose more than half their seats with the rise of new or opposition political parties. For instance, the 1970 and 1973 saw the demise of the Union Nationale and rise of the Parti Québécois which managed to take power in 1976. The 1985 and 1994 elections saw the Liberals gain and lose power in landslide elections.


Seating Plan

Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) swear two oaths: one to the Canadian monarch as Quebec’s head of state, and a second one to the people of Quebec. Previous Parti Québécois premier René Lévesque added the second oath.[3]

Most recent election

 Summary of the April 7, 2014, National Assembly of Quebec election results[4]
Party[5] Party leader[5] Candidates[4] Seats Popular vote
2012 Dissol. 2014 Change % Number % Change (pp)
Liberal Philippe Couillard 125 50 49 70 +21 56.00 1,757,071 41.52 +10.32
Parti Québécois Pauline Marois 124 54 54 30 -24 24.00 1,074,120 25.38 -6.57
Coalition Avenir Québec François Legault 122 19 18 22 +4 17.60 975,607 23.05 -4.00
Québec solidaire Françoise David, Andrés Fontecilla 124 2 2 3 +1 2.40 323,124 7.63 +1.60
Option nationale Sol Zanetti 116 30,697 0.73 -1.16
Green Alex Tyrrell 44 23,163 0.55 -0.44
Conservative Adrien Pouliot 59 16,429 0.39 +0.21
  Independent 11 2 15,361 0.36 +0.09
Parti nul Renaud Blais 24 7,539 0.18 +0.12
Bloc Pot Hugô St-Onge 14 2,690 0.06 +0.05
Marxist–Leninist Pierre Chénier 24 2,016 0.05 ±0.00
Parti équitable Patricia Domingos 5 1,645 0.04 +0.04
Parti des sans Parti Frank Malenfant 5 1,291 0.03 -0.09††
Mon pays le Québec Claude Dupré 6 * * 521 0.01 *
Autonomist Team Guy Boivin 5 400 0.01 -0.04
Unité Nationale Paul Biron 3 241 0.01 -0.02
Quebec – Democratic Revolution Robert Genesse 1 163 0.00 -0.01
Parti indépendantiste Michel Lepage 1 126 0.00 -0.03
Quebec Citizens' Union Marc-André Lacroix 1 58 0.00 -0.05
Total 814 125 125 125 0 100.00 4,232,262 100.00
Valid ballots 4,232,262 98.54 -0.24
Rejected ballots 62,793 1.46 +0.24
Voter turnout 4,295,055 71.44 -3.16
Registered electors 6,012,440


The party designates David and Fontecilla as co-spokespeople. The party's power is held by the general meetings of the members and a board of 16 directors; the de jure leader recognized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec (DGE) is Pierre-Paul St-Onge.[5]
†† Party contested the 2012 election under the name Coalition pour la constituante.
* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Changes during the 41st Quebec Legislature

Number of members
per party by date
2014 2015
Apr 7 Aug 15 Sep 29 Oct 20 Feb 26 Mar 9 Apr 7 Jun 8 Aug 21 Aug 24 Aug 26 Sep 3 Sep 22 Oct 22 Nov 9
Liberal 70 69 71 70 69 68 71
Parti Québécois 30 29 30 29 28 29
Coalition Avenir Québec 22 21 22 21 20
Québec solidaire 3
Independent 0 1
  Total members 125 124 123 124 123 124 123 125 124 123 122 121 120 124
Vacant 0 1 2 1 2 1 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 1
  Government majority 15 16 17 16 15 14 15 17 16 15 16 15 16 18


One of the members of the National Assembly is chosen as the President of the Assembly (a post called Speaker in most other Westminster System assemblies) by the Premier with the support of the Leader of the Opposition. The President of the Assembly is the arbiter of the parliamentary debates between the members of the government and the members of the Opposition. In order for a member to address a member of the other side, he or she has to speak through the President of the Assembly. The President is usually a member of the governing party, although there is no requirement for this.

The proceedings of the National Assembly are broadcast across Quebec on the cable television network Canal de l'Assemblée nationale.

See also



External links

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