A Colorful Personality

Télesphore-Damien Bouchard (1881-1962)

T.-D. (Teddy) Bouchard was born in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1881. A multilingual journalist, editor and fiery orator, he was active in municipal and provincial politics for many years. He conducted a long campaign in favor of municipal control and nationalization of electricity delivery. In early 1944, he left his position at the Department of Roads and Public Works to become a member of the Senate of Canada. A few weeks later, Premier Adélard Godbout appointed him president of Hydro-Québec. However, he was soon out of a job because of a speech he gave in the Senate in which he criticized the Church's interference in the government's business. Only a few weeks short of an election whose outcome he felt was in doubt, Godbout could not afford to alienate a large part of the French-speaking Catholic electorate. Bouchard was forced to resign. He was not to see the successful outcome of the nationalization movement he helped start. He died on November 13, 1962, on the eve of the election that brought Jean Lesage to power and gave Hydro-Québec a mandate to acquire the private electricity distributors.

Télesphore-Damien Bouchard