Mtre Paul Gérin-Lajoie, C.C., G.O.Q., c.r.


Admitted to the Bar of Québec in 1943, Mtre Paul Gérin-Lajoie was a graduate in law from the Université de Montréal and earned a doctor of laws from Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. Over the years, he has been awarded some 13 doctorates honoris causa by Canadian and foreign universities in addition to numerous other distinctions.

Playing an important role in the Quiet Revolution, Mtre Gérin-Lajoie has used his skills to serve society throughout his career. Elected as a Liberal MNA in Vaudreuil-Soulanges in 1960, he became Minister of Youth in the Lesage cabinet that same year and Québec’s first Minister of Education in 1964. He was the principal designer of the profound changes made to Québec’s education system.

Indeed, it was a speech given to the diplomatic corps as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education that gave birth to the Gérin-Lajoie doctrine, calling for an international extension of Québec’s internal competences, that still guides the international policy of the province today.

At the age of 90, this eminent colleague still plays a leading role in the Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, which he started in 1977 to support basic education for children and literacy training for adults in the poorest countries, as well as to awaken young Canadians to international realities.

For having so brilliantly defended the universal right to education, for the impact he has had on society in general and on youth here and abroad, the General Council has decided to award the Medal of the Bar of Montreal to Mtre Paul Gérin-Lajoie.

Consult the following article (In French only) :
La Médaille du Barreau de Montréal remise à Me Paul Gérin-Lajoie