Mercier, Honoré

Mercier, Honoré ōnôrāˈ mĕrsyāˈ [key], 1840–94, Canadian political leader, b. Quebec prov. Opposing confederation (1867) on the ground that unification of the Canadian provinces would imperil the influence of the French element, Mercier was (1871) a founder of the Parti national. He sat (1872–74) in the Canadian House of Commons, entered (1879) Quebec's legislative assembly, and became (1883) leader of the Liberal party of Quebec. Strong feeling stirred by the execution of the rebel Louis Riel enabled Mercier to form a coalition of the disaffected and to become premier of Quebec in 1887. His laws indemnifying the Jesuits for lands earlier confiscated by the government aroused much opposition (see Jesuit Estates Act). After four years as prime minister, he was dismissed by the lieutenant governor for alleged misuse of public funds and was defeated in the elections that followed. His son, Honoré Mercier, 1875–1937, was also a lawyer and a politician in Quebec. He served from 1907 to 1936 in the provincial legislative assembly. He was minister of colonization, mines, and fisheries (1914–19) and minister of lands and forests (1919–36).

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