Suffering from a brain cancer that is incurable, the ex-minister of the parti québecois David Cliche died Sunday at the age of 68 years.
The politician outspoken, pushing his last breath alongside his companion of 50 years, and his wife, Johanne Séguin, in their house of Saint-Étienne-de-Bolton in the eastern Townships.
“On Sunday evening, he asked my mother to go to bed with him, hand in hand. An hour after he had died,” says his son, Louis-Joseph.
Specialist in aboriginal issues, David Cliche has been parliamentary assistant to Jacques Parizeau, then a minister in the governments Bouchard and Landry.
In a forthcoming book, A Quebec indivisible, he tells of his work with First Nations at the dawn of the 1995 referendum, and for the defence of the territorial integrity of Quebec in the face of calls for the partition.
“At the end of his life, he said to me : my greatest pride is to have nearly led Quebec to independence. And then he added : my greatest disappointment is not having the sovereignty of Quebec,” recounts his son’s interview with the parliamentary Bureau.
“I think it is a dream that will die with this generation-there. It is sad,” notes Louis-Joseph Cliche.
Born in Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, David Cliche was the son of Robert-Cliche – who presided over the commission of the same name in the construction industry in the 1970s – and the writer Madeleine Ferron.
Good for Beauce, the former minister hated the language of wood. “Sometimes, it cost him a few feathers in the political process. He would say things that were true, but that does not say,” recalls his son, laughing.
While he was Environment minister, he had attracted the ire of the producers of pigs, that he had qualified for the “barons of the pig”, in addition to add that ‘you can’t empesterait not our campaigns to sell the pig to the Japanese”.
Lover of nature
The career of David Cliche has been marked by his affection for the indigenous peoples, and his love of nature.
As early as 1978, he worked as a representative of Québec in Nunavik. In 1980, he became a negotiator for the Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec, before chairing the Forum Great Whale from 1991 to 1993. A few years later, he advised yet to the prime minister Jacques Parizeau to abandon this hydro-electric project, which it considered profitable, because of the growing opposition in the United States.
“It was an ideologist-pragmatic,” says his son.
The date of the funeral of David Cliche is not yet known.
- Negotiator for the Grand Council of the Crees (of Quebec from 1980 to 1984.
- Chairman of the Forum Great Whale from 1991 to 1993.
- Parliamentary assistant to the prime minister Jacques Parizeau on aboriginal issues.
- In turn, minister of the Environment, of Tourism, of the information Highway, and then delegate to the Research, Science and Technology.
- Director of project Group S. M. International from 2003 to 2005.