Jean-Marc Léger, journalist, social theorist, public servant (born 8 January 1927 in Montréal North, QC; died 14 February 2011).
Jean-Marc Léger, journalist, social theorist, public servant (born 8 January 1927 in Montréal North, QC; died 14 February 2011). After graduate studies at the Université de Montréal in law, history and social sciences (1949), he attended the Institut d'études politiques, Paris, and returned to Montréal to become a journalist for La Presse until 1956 and for Le Devoir until the late 1960s. At U de M, with several other colleagues, he had set up the Équipe de recherches sociales to explore the socioeconomic problems of postwar Québec. They concluded that traditional French Canadian nationalism, thanks to spokesmen such as Maurice Duplessis, was synonymous with the exploitation of the working class and the prevention of Québec's modernization.
Throughout the 1950s, Léger, through his writings in L'Action nationale and Le Devoir helped redefine this nationalism in terms of economic, social and political liberation for Québec's francophone majority. He was, thus, one of the ideological founders of the Quiet Revolution. He worked for the "revolution" on the international scene as secretary general of the Assn des universités de langue française, 1961-78, and of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique, 1969-74. He was Québec's delégué général in Brussels 1978-81, and then an associate deputy minister with the Québec Ministry of Education and then of International Affairs until 1989. In 1986 he was named commissioner general of the Francophonie. In 1992 he was named an Officer of l'Ordre national du Québec.