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A journalist and politician, Joseph-Édouard Cauchon founded Le Journal de Québec in 1842. He was owner and editor from 1842 to 1875. In 1844, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada as the member for Montmorency; he would represent the riding for his entire political career. He was commissioner of Crown lands for United Canada in the MacNab-Taché government, then in the Taché-John A. Macdonald government from 1855 to 1857. He was minister of public works in 1861-62 and was mayor of Québec from 1865 to 1867.
Although initially opposed to the confederation project proposed by Alexander Tilloch Galt in 1858, Joseph-Édouard Cauchon was won over to the pro-union side in 1864. When Confederation was adopted in 1867, Cauchon was the member for Montmorency, (Quebec) and would remain so until 1874. He was Speaker of the Senate from 1867 to 1869. Ousted from the provincial government after a brief return to Quebec in 1872, he resigned his seat in the Legislative Assembly when dual representation was abolished. Around 1873 Cauchon publicly changed his political allegiance from George-Étienne Cartier and John A. Macdonald's Liberal-Conservative Party to the Liberal Party. He sat in the House of Commons in Ottawa as an independent member for Quebec-Centre from 1872 to 1877. While he was in Ottawa, he was president of the Privy Council, then minister of inland revenue. Following his eviction from Cabinet and the federal government, Cauchon was named lieutenant-governor of Manitoba by Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie in October 1877. Cauchon remained lieutenant-governor until 1882.
Throughout his eventful political career, he continued to manage several business interests, including land and real estate speculation and railway financing.
Andrée Désilets. -- "Cauchon, Joseph-Édouard." -- Dictionnaire biographique du Canada. -- Vol. XI. -- Québec : PUL, 1982. -- P. 175-182.