Mr. François Legault started his career as an auditor and team leader at the firm Ernst & Young where he worked from 1978 to 1984. He was nominated Director of finance and administration at Nationair Canada in 1984.
In 1985, Mr. Legault became Québécair’s marketing director and later co-founded Air Transat in 1986. He was the company’s president and director general until 1997.
Through his years in the business world, Mr. Legault was also an administrator for major companies such as Provigo, Culinar, Sico, Technolab and Bestar. He is a Fellow at the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec.
In September 1998, he was nominated Minister of Industry, Commerce and Science under Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard after being elected in the Rousseau riding, in November 1998. Mr. François Legault was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2008. He also held various key positions in the government and in the opposition as well:
- Minister for Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology from September to December 1998;
- State Minister of Education and Youth from December1998 to November 2001;
- Vice-President of the Conseil du Trésor, from December 1998 to November 2001;
- Minister of Education, from December 1998 to January 2002;
- State Minister for Education and Employment from November 2001 to January 2002;
- State Minister for Health and Social Services and Minister of Health and Social Services as well, from January 2002 to April 2003.
- National Assembly’s Speaker for the official opposition on finance and economic development from 2003 to 2007 and in 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, Mr. Legault was also Speaker for the second opposition group;
During his time in government, Mr. Legault was responsible for several initiatives that benefited all Quebecers such as the program to improve school achievement, performance contracts between universities and the State, as well as a plan of action called “Pour faire les bons choix”, which designated a clear road map to improving Québec’s health care system.
In February 2011, François Legault, along with the entrepreneur Charles Sirois, launched the Coalition pour l’avenir du Québec, a non-profit organization in order to foster and promote new ideas for public policies. After publishing four documents detailing his priorities to improve
Quebec’s standing, Mr. Legault staged an important consultation tour in 17 areas of Quebec in the fall of 2011.
In November 2011, denouncing the old political parties’ indifference towards his concrete and efficient proposals, Mr. Legault answered the call from thousands of Quebecers and founded a new party, the Coalition Avenir Québec.
He designated five major priorities for the Coalition: enhance the status of education, increase accessibility and quality for health care, build a Quebec-owned economy, promote the French language and Quebec culture and promote ethics in the public administration.
Mr. François Legault, who was born in Sainte-Anne de-Bellevue, in May 26, 1957, is married and a father of two. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Public Accounting and a Master’s Degree (MBA) in Finance from the Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal.