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Daniel Johnson, Sr. (1915-1968), Premier of Quebec

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medium_djohnson.jpgTo date the only Premier of Quebec native to the Eastern Townships is Daniel Johnson Sr., who was born in Sainte-Anne-de-Danville in 1915. The son of an Irish Catholic father and a French Canadian mother, Johnson first entered provincial politics in 1946 in the by-elections held that year. He ran in Bagot as a candidate for Maurice Duplessis' Union Nationale, and won a seat in the National Assembly. He entered the cabinet ten years later when Premier Duplessis appointed him Minister for Hydraulic Resources. In 1961, Johnson was chosen leader of the struggling Union Nationale. In opposition, he worked to reorganize the party and develop a solid platform. He was elected Premier in the 1966 election, defeating the Liberals under Premier Jean Lesage.

On the issue of constitutional reform, Johnson pursued political equality between Canada's two founding peoples. He continued the social reforms initiated under the Lesage government, known as "the Quiet Revolution." These included, among others, the creation of the Université du Québec (and other educational reforms), and the establishment of Radio-Québec.

Daniel Johnson, who died in 1968, was the father of two Premiers of Quebec: Pierre-Marc Johnson (Parti Québécois, 1985), and Daniel Johnson Jr. (Liberal, 1993-1994).