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Sir Hector-Louis Langevin
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Dorchester

In office
Preceded by Barthélemy Pouliot
Succeeded by Institution abolished
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Dorchester

In office
Succeeded by Louis-Napoléon Larochelle
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Québec-Centre

In office
Preceded by Georges-Honoré Simard
Succeeded by Rémi-Ferdinand Rinfret
10th Mayor of Quebec City

In office
Preceded by Joseph Morrin
Succeeded by Thomas Pope
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Dorchester

In office
Succeeded by François Fortunat Rouleau
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Charlevoix

In office
Preceded by Pierre-Alexis Tremblay
Succeeded by Pierre-Alexis Tremblay
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Three Rivers

In office
Preceded by William McDougall
Succeeded by District abolished
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Richelieu[infobox 1]

In office
Preceded by Joseph-Aimé Massue
Succeeded by Arthur Aimé Bruneau
Personal details
Born (1826-08-25)August 25, 1826
Quebec City, Lower Canada
Died June 11, 1906(1906-06-11) (aged 79)
Quebec City, Quebec
Political party Conservative
  1. Elected for Three Rivers and for Richelieu. Chose to sit for Three Rivers.

Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, PC KCMG CB QC (August 25, 1826 – June 11, 1906) was a Canadian lawyer, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation. He also had an important role to play in the establishment of the Indian Residential Schools.

Langevin was born in Quebec City in 1826. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1850. In 1856, he was elected to the municipal council of Quebec City and was mayor from 1858 to 1861. In 1857, he was elected Member of Parliament for Dorchester in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada as a member of the Conservative Party. He held various positions in Cabinet, including Solicitor General (1864–66), Postmaster General (1866–67), Secretary of State for Canada (1867–69), Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs (1868–69) and Minister of Public Works (1869–73). Langevin also attended all three conferences leading up to . He left politics in 1873 due to his role in the Pacific Scandal.

In 1871 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in the provincial electoral district of Québec-Centre. At the time, dual mandates were still allowed. He served one term, until 1874.

In 1876, he was re-elected in the riding of Charlevoix. His opponent contested the election and it was declared invalid, but he won the subsequent by-election in 1877. He was defeated in Rimouski in 1878 but elected by acclamation in the riding of Trois-Rivières in the same year. Langevin became Minister of Public Works again in 1879. He lobbied behind the scenes against the hanging of Louis Riel in 1885 and was one of the few Conservatives Members of Parliament to survive the resulting backlash in the province of Quebec in 1887.

He was promised the post of Lieutenant Governor of Quebec by the new Conservative Prime Minister John Abbott if he resigned as Minister of Public Works. Langevin stepped down in 1891 but Abbott appointed Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau instead. That year, Langevin was implicated with Thomas McGreevy in what became known as the "McGreevy-Langevin scandal" over kickbacks to McGreevy associated with federal contracts granted to him by the department of public works overseen by Langevin. He retired to the backbenches and then left politics in 1896. Outside of politics, he was previously a newspaper editor.[1]

The Langevin Block on Parliament Hill was named in his honour, as was the Langevin Bridge in Calgary.

Langevin's group of medals were sold at auction in Ottawa on 18 May 2010 for $8000.00

His brother, Jean Langevin was a Roman Catholic bishop.

Indian Residential Schools

As Secretary of State for the Provinces Langevin made it clear to Parliament in 1883 that day schools would be insufficient in assimilating Aboriginal children. Langevin was one of the architects of the residential schools and argued: “The fact is that if you wish to educate the children you must separate them from their parents during the time they are being taught. If you leave them in the family they may know how to read and write, but they will remain savages, whereas by separating them in the way proposed, they acquire the habits and tastes…of civilized people.” [2]

External links


  1. Hopkins, J. Castell (1898). An historical sketch of Canadian literature and journalism. Toronto: Lincott. p. 225. ISBN 0665080484. 
  2. [Grant, Agnes. 1996. No End of Grief: Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Winnipeg: Pemmican p. 65]

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