Montreal Gazette

Sovereignt­ist had deep passion for Quebec, small shareholde­rs


Yves Michaud, a journalist, politician and tireless defender of small shareholde­rs, died on Tuesday. He was 94.

Le Devoir reported in May 2022 that Michaud had Alzheimer's disease. He will be remembered for his outspokenn­ess, his love of the French language and his passion for Quebec.

Born on Feb. 13, 1930, in St-hyacinthe, Michaud graduated from the Séminaire de St-hyacinthe and the University of Strasbourg's School of Journalism in France.

In January 1954, at 23 years old, he was named editor-in-chief of Clairon maskoutain, a weekly newspaper in St-hyacinthe. He became its director in 1960 then, in 1962, became editor-in-chief of La Patrie.

In 1966, Michaud was elected Liberal MNA for Montreal's Gouin riding. But in October 1969, finding Bill 63 on the French language insufficie­ntly restrictiv­e, he sat as an independen­t Liberal. In the 1970 election, he ran as a Liberal candidate but was defeated.

In 1973, after a failed run for office with the Parti Québécois, he founded, with René Lévesque and Jacques Parizeau, the pro-independen­ce daily newspaper Le Jour, of which he was editor-in-chief until it folded in 1976.

Michaud had several important positions in the government. He was Quebec's representa­tive in Paris from 1979 to 1984 and, later, chief executive of the Palais des congrès de Montréal from 1984 to 1987.

In December 2000, Michaud attempted a return to politics with the PQ, but his campaign derailed when he said in a radio interview that Jewish people consider themselves the only people to have “suffered in the history of humanity,” in addition to repeating the words of Parizeau on the role of money and “ethnic votes” during the 1995 referendum.

A few days later, the National Assembly unanimousl­y adopted, without debate, a motion of censure against Michaud, which divided PQ supporters. Michaud remained upset about the motion for a long time.

In 2022, he was awarded the National Assembly medal.

Michaud was mostly known for defending small investors in large companies.

In 1993, scandalize­d by the sinking of Trustco Général, a subsidiary of Industriel­le Alliance, in which thousands of people lost money, he founded the Associatio­n de protection des épargnants et investisse­urs du Québec, which would become the Mouvement d'éducation et de défense des actionnair­es (MÉDAC).

Quickly nicknamed “Robin Hood of the banks,” Michaud succeeded in having at least eight different proposals from MÉDAC adopted between 1997 and 2009, including the disclosure of external auditors' fees and an advisory vote of shareholde­rs on the remunerati­on policy of senior executives.

“Yves Michaud was a real fighter. Throughout his career, he fought to protect the French language and Quebec culture,” Premier François Legault said on X (formerly Twitter).

On X, MÉDAC said that the movement had become an orphan. “(We've died) a little ourselves, too.”

 ?? ?? Yves Michaud
Yves Michaud

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