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Jean-Luc Pépin

Jean-Luc Pepin
Member of Parliament
for Ottawa—Carleton
In office
May 22, 1979 – September 4, 1984
Preceded byJean Pigott
Succeeded byBarry Turner
Member of Parliament
for Drummond
(Drummond—Arthabaska; 1963–1968)
In office
April 8, 1963 – October 30, 1972
Preceded byDavid Ouellet
Succeeded byJean-Marie Boisvert
Personal details
Born(1924-11-01)November 1, 1924
Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
DiedSeptember 5, 1995(1995-09-05) (aged 70)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
CabinetMinister for External Relations (1983–1984)
Minister responsible for La Francophonie (1983–1984)
Minister of State (External Relations) (1983)
Minister of Transport (1980–1983)
Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (1969–1972)
Minister of Industry (1968–1969)
Minister of Trade and Commerce (1968–1969)
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (1968)
Minister of Labour (1968)
Minister of Trade and Commerce, Acting (1968)
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (1966–1968)
Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (1965–1966)
Minister Without Portfolio (1965)
PortfolioParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (1963–1965)

Jean-Luc Pepin, PC CC (November 1, 1924 – September 5, 1995) was a Canadian academic, politician and Cabinet minister.

Political biography

Pepin was a political science professor at the University of Ottawa when he was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1963 election as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) from Quebec.

From 1965 to 1972, he served in the cabinets of Prime Ministers Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau in various capacities, including Minister of Mines and Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce overseeing the decision to have Canada adopt the metric system.

He lost his seat in the 1972 election, and retired from public life until 1975 when Trudeau appointed him to chair the Anti-Inflation Board.

In 1977, he and former Premier of Ontario John Robarts were appointed to head the "Task Force on Canadian Unity". This task force was created by the federal government as a response to the election of the Parti Québécois, which seeks political independence for Quebec in the 1976 provincial election.

The task force issued a report in 1979 that recommended entrenching language rights in the Canadian Constitution, and for the reduction of federal powers in all areas but economic management. The Task Force also recommended the replacement of the Senate of Canada with a "Council of the Federation" whose members would be appointed by provincial governments, and to grant the provinces a say in appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada. Most of these recommendations were rejected by the Government of Canada, and did not make their way into the new Constitution that was enacted in 1982.

After a seven-year absence, Pepin returned to the House of Commons in the 1979 election. When the Liberals returned to power after the 1980 election, he became Minister of Transport until 12 August 1983. In that position he was responsible for

  • the drastic 1981 passenger rail service cuts (from which Canadian passenger rail never recovered);
  • abolition of the Crowsnest Pass rates;[1]
  • the National Ports Policy, enunciated in the Harbour Commissions Act.[2]

Later, he became a Minister of State to the Department of External Affairs and Minister responsible for La Francophonie.

Later life

Following heart surgery, he retired from politics in 1984, and returned to academia as a fellow at the University of Ottawa's Institute on Public Policy.

In 1977, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. He was bestowed the title, The Right Honourable in 1992.

Electoral history

1963 Canadian federal election: Drummond—Arthabaska
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 17,338
Social Credit David Ouellet 14,739
Progressive Conservative J.-Claude Couture 3,416
New Democratic Pierre Lambert 1,456
1965 Canadian federal election: Drummond—Arthabaska
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 15,179
Ralliement créditiste André Fortin 8,518
Progressive Conservative Pierre Jutras 7,413
Independent Sam Boulanger 6,068
New Democratic Charles-Émile Riendeau 1,660
1968 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 11,667 38.5
Ralliement créditiste Claude Proulx 9,545 31.5
Progressive Conservative André Biron 8,342 27.6
New Democratic Pierre Gagné 723 2.4
Total valid votes 30,277 100.0
1972 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Jean-Marie Boisvert 15,923 42.2 +10.7
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 15,853 42.0 +3.5
Progressive Conservative Roger Rousseau 5,351 14.2 -13.4
New Democratic Ann Dewitt 590 1.6 -0.8
Total valid votes 37,717 100.0
1979 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 33,972
Progressive Conservative Jean Pigott 26,972
New Democratic Jill Vickers 8,234
1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jean-Luc Pépin 34,960
Progressive Conservative Bert Lawrence 22,384
New Democratic Don Francis 7,788
Independent Oli Cosgrove 235

Note: Social Credit vote is compared to Ralliement créditiste vote in the 1968 election.


  • Pepin, Jean-Luc, 1924–. National ports policy = Politique portuaire nationale / Jean-Luc Pepin. – [Ottawa] : Minister of Transport = Ministre des transports, 1981.


There is a Jean-Luc Pepin fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[3]


  1. ^ "Jean-Luc Pepin"
  2. ^ Harbour Commissions Act R.S.C., 1985, c. H-1
  3. ^ "Finding aid to Jean-Luc Pepin fonds, Library and Archives Canada" (PDF).
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Jean-Luc Pépin
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