Dorion, Jean-Baptiste-Éric

Jean-Baptiste-Éric Dorion, journalist, politician, pioneer settler (b at Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, LC 17 Sept 1826; d at L'Avenir, Canada E 1 Nov 1866), brother of A.A. DORION. From a family that strongly supported liberal principles, he defended liberalism with such passion that his political adversaries nicknamed him "enfant terrible." On 17 December 1844 he helped found the INSTITUT CANADIEN in Montréal; with George Batchelor he established the newspaper L'Avenir, the first edition of which appeared on 16 July 1847. Dorion used these 2 forums to express views which became so radical on issues such as the separation of church and state, nondenominational education and annexation of Canada by the US that in Nov 1852 the opposition to his demands obliged him to stop publishing L'Avenir. He withdrew to a community near Drummondville which he called L'Avenir where he was elected MP for Drummond-Arthabaska in 1854 and 1861. He argued at length on the disadvantages of CONFEDERATION in his newspaper Le Défricheur, which he founded in 1862.