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First woman Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec on July 17, 1939.
Political Affiliation: Progressive Conservative
Legislative Career: First elected to the House of Commons in the 1984 general election as member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot. Served until 1993.
Member of the Cabinet as Minister of State (Youth) September 17, 1984 to June 29, 1986; Assistant Deputy Chair, Committee of the Whole House, September 29, 1986 to May 14, 1990; Deputy Speaker and Chair, Committee of the Whole House, May 15, 1990 to September 8, 1993.
Honours and Awards: Sworn to the Privy Council, September 17, 1984; Appointed Commander, "l'Ordre de La Pléiade", 1991.
Andrée Champagne's background is an unusual one. An accomplished actress and pianist, when she decided to enter politics in 1984 she was already a known personality in Quebec households due to many years spent on television, radio, and in film and theatre. In 1970, after her longest running television role ended (as "Donalda" in Claude-Henri Grignon's Les belles histoires des pays d'en haut) she branched out, opening a casting agency.
During her career she served on professional associations such as l'Institut québécois du cinéma (member, Board of Directors) and l'Union des artistes (Vice-President 1981-83 and General Secretary 1983-84). In this latter role she was a delegate to the 1984 International Federation of Actors Conference in Moscow. One of her accomplishments, which was a first in Canada, was the creation of Le Chez Nous des Artistes, a retirement home for artists.
It was her work on arts and culture policy on behalf of these professional organizations which brought her into direct contact with various levels of government. In the 1984 federal election she ran and won for the Progressive Conservatives in her home riding of Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot and held the riding in the 1988 federal election. She was immediately appointed to the cabinet as Minister of State for Youth, on the eve of the 1985 International Year of Youth.
In September 1986, her political career took another direction when she was elected by the House of Commons to the position of Assistant Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole House. This was followed by her appointment as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons on May 15, 1990, making her the first woman to hold this office. After the defeat of the Conservative government in 1993, she returned to private life and selected acting roles.
Champagne, Andrée. — Champagne pour tout le monde. — Montréal : Les éditions internationales Stanké, 1995. — ISBN 276040501X. — 347 p.
Gray, Charlotte. — "Chatelaine's women of the year: 6 Cabinet women". — Chatelaine. —Vol. 58, no. 1 (January 1985). — P. 44, 45, 68-70.
Montessuit, Carmen. — "Le nouveau départ d'Andrée Champagne". — Le Journal de Montréal. — le 24 décembre 1994. — P. We4.
Robert, Véronique. — "Andrée Champagne, la ténacité reconnue". — Châtelaine. — Vol. 26, no. 1 (janvier 1985). — P. 47-49.