Raymond Garneau, politician (b at Plessisville, Qué 3 Jan 1935). Usually seen as one of the bright lights of the Liberal Party, Garneau made his reputation as finance minister in Québec, 1970 to 1976. Trained at U Laval and at Université de Genève in economics, he became executive assistant to Prem Jean LESAGE in 1965 and remained with him until 1970. In that year he was elected to the National Assembly and was immediately named minister of finance and president of the Treasury Board by Robert BOURASSA.
Garneau held these posts (as well as the education portfolio from 1975 to 1976) until the defeat of the Bourassa government in 1976, providing successful stewardship in a difficult period. He then worked in business with the Laurentian Group and the Montréal City and District Savings Bank until he ran federally in 1984 - securing election in Laval des Rapides - against the bleu tide.
In Parliament Garneau has served quietly but with distinction as Opposition financial critic and as president of the Québec Liberal caucus, in effect the Québec leader. In July 1987 Liberal leader John Turner named Garneau his Québec lieutenant. Garneau chose not to run for re-election in 1988. Instead he accepted a position as the President and CEO of Industrial-Alliance Life Insurance Co, serving in the role until 2005. In 2005 John Gomery appointed Garneau Chair of Advisory Commission for the second phase of the GOMERY INQUIRY.
Raymond Garneau is an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA (appointed in 1994).