‘We will miss him’
Former Quebec cabinet minister Jacques Daoust dead at 69
Former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister Jacques Daoust, who quit politics because of controversy surrounding his alleged role in a government agency’s sale of Rona Inc. shares to a U.S. company, has died. He was 69.
Premier Philippe Couillard lauded Daoust, who suffered a stroke less than two weeks ago.
“During his time as economy minister he did work to help Bombardier...and to help improve programs, notably for people running small businesses,’’ the premier said Thursday in Hebertville-Station, Que.
“So I think we have to be grateful to him for his public service. Politics is never easy and he experienced it from every angle. But today, let’s think of the man, let’s think of his family.’’
Daoust was elected to the national assembly in 2014 and was named economy minister before taking on the transport portfolio in January 2016.
He kept the position until he stepped down as a member of the legislature last August after he landed in hot water for his alleged role in Investissement Quebec’s sale of 11 million Rona shares to Lowe’s, the U.S. hardware giant.
Daoust, who was head of the province’s investment agency between 2006 and 2013, always insisted he did not know about the sale until it was a done deal.
Daoust previously worked for the federal Defence Department as well as the SNC Group before going on to the National Bank and the Laurentian Bank.
It was during his tenure as economy minister that the province committed to a US$1billion investment in Bombardier Inc. to help it complete the development of its CSeries jet.
His stint at the helm of the Transport Department was marked by the stormy Uber dossier, which saw the government pass a law in 2016 regulating the taxi inddustry.
Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil called her former colleague “a really brilliant man who was able to find innovative solutions.’’
“We will miss him,’’ she said in Montreal.