ArchivesCamille Laurin, psychiatrist and politician from Quebec

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100 years ago, Doctor Camille Laurin was born. Our archives highlight the extent of this man’s role as a politician and psychiatrist in Quebec.

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An innovative psychiatrist for Quebecers …

Camille Laurin was born in Charlemagne on May 6, 1922.

Camille Laurin’s early intelligence brought her to the attention of Assumption County deputy Paul Gouin. The latter promotes classical studies that the young man’s father cannot afford for him.

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In 1943, Camille Laurin enrolled at the University of Montreal, where she studied medicine. He gets awesome grades.

He specialized in psychiatry in Boston and Paris in the 1950s.

At the age of 35, in 1958, he was appointed director of what would become, a few years later, the Department of Psychiatry at the Université de Montréal. He is also secretary of the Quebec Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Camille Laurin brought from her studies abroad a modern concept of psychiatry and mental illness that she wanted to apply in Quebec.

On October 11, 1959, Wilfrid Lemoine hosted the show Foreground interviews with Camille Laurin. The comments focused on the causes of mental illness as well as society’s biases towards those who suffer from it.

The interview was cut in two by soundless pictures.

In 1961, Jean-Charles Pagé, a former patient at Saint-Jean-de-Dieu Hospital, published a book, The madmen are crying out for help! criticizing the delay in psychiatric care in Quebec.

The preface to the book was signed by Doctor Camille Laurin.

The book shocked and mobilized Quebec society. In September 1961, the government of Jean Lesage responded by creating the Bédard commission.

This commission modernized, through its recommendations, the practice of psychiatry in Quebec from 1962.

… And Quebec society

Doctor Camille Laurin saw medicine and psychiatry as powerful instruments of social change.

It was this concept that led him to engage in active politics and support Quebec’s independence project.

In 1968, Camille Laurin was, along with René Lévesque, one of the founding fathers of the Parti Québécois. To his great surprise, he was elected executive president, making him number two in the Parti Québécois.

On December 27, 1968, Camille Laurin was interviewed after a press conference she gave the definition of the acronym adopted by the Parti Québécois.

In this short interview, we will hear the themes that bother Dr. Laurin and explains his commitment to the Parti Québécois.

Doctor Laurin’s electroshock

In 1970, Camille Laurin became one of the seven elected members of the Parti Québécois in the National Assembly of Quebec.

On November 15, 1976, the Parti Québécois took power. Premier-elect René Lévesque has appointed Camille Laurin Minister of State for Cultural Development.

The new minister is responsible for creating a new language law in Quebec that will replace the highly controversial Bill 22 of Robert Bourassa’s previous government.

Dr. sees. Laurin described this reform as a beneficial and necessary electroshock to restore the pride of Quebec Francophones and remove them from their political dizziness.

On April 1, 1977, Camille Laurin filed her bill in the National Assembly, which became known as the Charter of the French language or Bill 101.

On this occasion, Radio-Canada television presents a special program that delivers the Minister’s press conference. His speech articulates in very clear words the goals that motivate his legislative intervention.

The Charter of the French language established French as the only official language of the State of Quebec. Dr. Camille Laurin suggests a radical break in the history of the province since 1763.

In this context, we understand that the bill will be opposed by certain sectors of Quebec society.

Within the English -speaking community, in particular, Camille Laurin is hated.

Some of his opponents associate him with the villain Dr. Julius No, one of the film’s two main protagonists. James Bond 007 v. Dr No.

Others do more by comparing him to Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda master of Nazi Germany.

The Charter of the French language was adopted on August 26, 1977. Exactly 10 years later, the Mouvement pour un Québec français celebrated its anniversary.

Journalist Claude Gervais was present at this event and recorded some of Dr. Laurin in the report aired on Newscast August 26, 1987.

This is a concerned and critical message previously given by Camille Laurin.

According to him, Bill 101 gave a false sense of security to Francophones and played against the sovereignist option in the 1980 referendum.

The situation he describes is certainly sadly ironic for the politician and the psychiatrist.

Former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard described Dr. Camille Laurin as “the one with the greatest contribution to strengthening Quebec’s identity. “

Through his medical and political action, the man affectionately called “doctor” by his colleagues has played an undeniable role in Quebec’s social and political evolution over the past 50 years.

Source: Radio-Canada

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