Marcel Masse

Marcel Masse, politician (born 27 May 1936 in St-Jean-de-Matha, QC; died 25 August 2014). Masse was a cabinet minister in Quebec’s Union Nationale government of the late 1960s and 70s. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was a cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s federal government, with portfolios in communications, energy and defence.

Marcel Masse, politician (born 27 May 1936 in St-Jean-de-Matha, QC; died 25 August 2014). Masse was a cabinet minister in Quebec’s Union Nationale government of the late 1960s and 70s. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was a cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s federal government, with portfolios in communications, energy and defence.

Masse was a student of history and political science at Université de Montréal and abroad in London and Paris, and taught high school in Joliette, 1962–66. A strong Québec nationalist, he was a member of the Québec Assembly, 1966–73, and held several ministerial posts in the Union Nationale government (1966–70) of Daniel Johnson and Jean-Jacques Bertrand. He ran for the leadership of the party in 1971, losing by only 21 votes. He left the party to sit as an independent a few months later.

In 1974 he joined Lavelin, a Montréal engineering firm. He was an unsuccessful federal Conservative candidate in 1974 and 1980 but won election to the House of Commons in 1984. As minister of communications in the Mulroney government from 1984 to 1986, he attempted to defend the cultural industries during the free trade negotiations with the US. Mulroney moved him to the department of energy and in 1988 back to communications. His attempt to establish an institute for the study of communications and culture in Montréal failed and he was transferred to the ministry of national defence in 1991. He left the Cabinet in January 1993 and announced his retirement from the House of Commons.

Masse was the Conseiller Principal with le Groupe CFC (Management et resources humaines) (1994–95), and he headed one of 14 regional committees that held public hearings on Québec independence in 1995. He was also president of Le Conseil de la langue française du Québec (1995) and délégué général du Québec à Paris (1996–7). A member of l'Ordre national du Québec (1995), he was also chair of the Commission des biens culturels du Québec (1997–2000).