Quebec Employers Council's History and Landmarks
The Quebec Employers Council (Conseil du patronat du Québec or CPQ) formally emerged on the Quebec scene on January 20, 1969, when it was formally established at the first general meeting of its members. Although this date is referred to as the CPQ's official founding date, it is important to point out that the CPQ's founders had in fact been at work since 1963.
It was in February 1963 that a major meeting was held in Montreal, bringing together delegated spokespersons from the business, union, and university communities who came to the consensus that a federation of business associations was needed in Quebec.
At this meeting, a small working committee of business association representatives was given the mandate to create such a federation in the form of a provisional committee. They agreed to name this new structure in the making the Conseil du patronat du Québec.
This constituted the launching of the CPQ, although the provisional committee became active only a year later, in May 1964.
The groundwork was laid during that period: the development of a mandate, structure, and by-laws, as well as research on the most appropriate means of action. This work led to what has been commonly identified as the true founding meeting of the CPQ in the fall of 1964.
May 1965: The board of directors authorizes a request for incorporation.
October 1965: The board of directors realizes that the CPQ cannot be effective without permanent support staff, which requires the financial support of a number of businesses.
February 1966: The concept of a special launch fund and a membership committee is officially accepted by the board of directors. In May of the same year, the project is proposed at a general membership meeting and accepted.
March 1966: The CPQ obtains its letters patent.
May 1966 to July 1967: Financing remains the directors' main concern. In the summer of 1966, CPQ representatives meet with English-speaking presidents and vice-presidents of several companies to solicit their support for the CPQ's goals and eventually their financial support.
A similar meeting is held in the French-speaking community. Then, with the moral backing of business and a form of representation for companies on the board of directors provided through the establishment of a board of governors, a finance committee composed of well-known business leaders is set up. One of the committee's first jobs is to find a businessperson who would manage the CPQ on a permanent basis.
July 1967: Several businessmen are approached. Charles Perrault, president of Casavant Frères Limitée, expresses interest in the presidency, and a membership campaign is launched in early 1968. At the end of that year, financial support is garnered from businesses, and the CPQ's future is assured for five years. Mr. Perrault accepts permanent leadership of the CPQ.
January 20, 1969: The CPQ is officially created at a special general meeting of its members. Under the leadership of president-executive director Charles Perrault and assistant executive director Ghislain Dufour, the permanent staff begins its operations on February 3, 1969. The CPQ first occupies offices loaned by the CIL House, and then sets up office in the Maison du Commerce where it remains for the first five years of its official existence.
May 1976: Mr. Perrault leaves the CPQ to found a consulting firm. He is replaced by Pierre Des Marais II.
Meanwhile, the CPQ's structure is modified: the president will henceforth not be a salaried employee and will be available part time, and an executive vice-president position is created. Ghislain Dufour takes on this role.
May 1978: Pierre Côté succeeds Pierre Des Marais II as president of the CPQ.
May 1982: Sébastien Allard succeeds Pierre Côté and becomes the fourth CPQ president.
June 1984: The CPQ celebrates the 15th anniversary of its founding.
June 1986: The CPQ modifies its structure: the organization will henceforth be managed by a chairperson and a president-executive director. Marcel Bundock is named chairman; Ghislain Dufour, executive vice-president at the time, becomes CPQ president.
June 1988: Jeannine Guillevin-Wood, president of Guillevin International, replaces Marcel Bundock as chair for a two-year mandate.
January 1989: The CPQ celebrates its 20th anniversary.
June 1990: Guy Laflamme, president of Les Industries de la Rive-Sud Ltée., becomes the third chair for a two-year mandate, renewed in 1992 for another two years.
June 1994: Jim Hewitt, president of Hewitt Equipment Ltd., becomes fourth chair for a two-year mandate, renewed in 1996 for another seven months.
June 1996: Ghislain Dufour leaves the CPQ after 27 years of service, 10 as president.
February 1997: Denis Beauregard, former director of research at the CPQ, replaces Ghislain Dufour.
February 1997: Ghislain Dufour, outgoing president, becomes the fifth chair, for a 16-month mandate.
January 1998: Denis Beauregard resigns from the CPQ presidency.
June 1998: Ghislain Dufour resigns as chair and is replaced by André Y. Fortier, president of Campbell Resources Inc., who becomes the sixth CPQ chair, for a two-year mandate, renewed in 2000 for a second term.
June 1998: Gilles Taillon replaces Denis Beauregard as CPQ president.
March 2000: Former CPQ president Ghislain Dufour writes Ghislain Dufour témoigne des 30 ans du CPQ, an essay published by Éditions Transcontinental.
June 2002: André Y. Fortier is replaced as chair by Guy G. Dufresne, president and chief executive officer of Compagnie minière Québec Cartier. He becomes the seventh CPQ chair, starting a first two-year mandate.
June 2004: Guy G. Dufresne continues for a second two-year mandate as chair.
January 2006: Gilles Taillon resigns as CPQ president.
April 2006: Michel Kelly-Gagnon replaces Gilles Taillon as president.
November 2006: Guy G. Dufresne is replaced as chair by John LeBoutillier, chair of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services, who becomes the eighth CPQ chair, with a two-year mandate.
November 2006: Pierre Pomerleau, president and CEO of Groupe Pomerleau, becomes the CPQ's first vice-chair, with a two-year mandate.
September 2008: John LeBoutillier takes on a second two-year mandate as chair.
November 2008: Pierre Pomerleau takes on a second two-year mandate as vice-chair.
January 2009: Michel Kelly-Gagnon resigns as CPQ president.
March 2009: Yves-Thomas Dorval replaces Michel Kelly-Gagnon as CPQ president.
September 2009: Former CPQ president Ghislain Dufour writes Pour le meilleur et pour le pire, 30 ans de relations entre les patrons et gouvernements au Québec (1969-1998), an essay published by Éditions Les Malins describing three decades of relations between the CPQ and Quebec politicians.
December 2009: The CPQ celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding with Paul Martin, prime minister from 2003 to 2006 and federal finance minister from 1993 to 2002; Bernard Landry, premier of Quebec from 2001 to 2003 and provincial minister of finance in 1985 and from 1996 to 2001; and Monique Jérôme-Forget, Quebec minister of finance from 2007 to 2009 in attendance. The CPQ uses this occasion to announce the establishment of the Ghislain-Dufour Bursary, honouring its former president, to be awarded annually starting in 2010 to an industrial relations graduate student.
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