(Quebec) The National Assembly of Quebec paid tribute to journalist Jocelyne Richer on Thursday, highlighting the 40-year career of a woman “of head and heart”, “pioneer” in a male environment, rigorous and go-getter.
Ms. Richer received a standing ovation from all elected officials present following the reading and unanimous adoption of a motion, which reads: “That the National Assembly underline the career of Mrs. Jocelyne Richer, parliamentary correspondent then bureau chief of La Presse Canadienne in Quebec City until her retirement; that the National Assembly salute the contribution of Ms. Richer and all the artisans of the Tribune de la presse to the democratic life of Québec. »
After reading the motion on his own behalf, and that of members of the other parties, the Leader of the Second Opposition Group, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, was the first to take the floor to underline “the exceptional career of the one who cooked so well, for years.”
“Jocelyne Richer spent 20 years at the forefront of Quebec politics, reporting on our debates, asking often difficult, but never unfair, questions to elected officials. In short, to be accountable to Quebecers,” Mr. Nadeau-Dubois told the National Assembly.
After a few years of freelance journalism in Quebec City in the 1980s, Ms. Richer obtained a job as a journalist with the daily Le Droit in Ottawa.
Back in Quebec, she worked as a parliamentary correspondent for the daily Le Devoir from 1990 to 1992, before moving to La Presse Canadienne in 1993, first at the Montreal office, as editor-reporter and desk manager, then at Quebec after obtaining in 2002 the position she had coveted for a long time: that of parliamentary correspondent at the National Assembly, which she would occupy for twenty years.
Starting in 2017, she will also hold the position of bureau chief for La Presse Canadienne in Quebec City, until her recent retirement.
“Jocelyne made a career, it must be remembered, in an environment that was a men’s environment for a long time, but she never gave up her place; on the contrary, it has imposed itself,” recalled the MP for Québec solidaire, adding that it “opened the way”, but that “the work is not finished”.
Mr. Nadeau-Dubois highlighted her remarkable work in covering women’s rights and the place of women in politics and in the media. “She has shone the spotlight on these issues, issues too often overlooked, and it’s to her credit,” he said.
The elected officials who followed the supportive MP in the ten-minute tribute to the journalist also underlined her character as a “pioneer”, such as the Minister of International Relations, Minister responsible for the Status of Women and former journalist, Martine Biron.
“Indeed, she was among the first female journalists on Parliament Hill. […] Her particular style developed, and over time she earned the respect and envy of her journalistic colleagues and she became the terror of politicians,” said Ms. Biron.
The Leader of the Official Opposition, Marc Tanguay, went further by speaking of his professionalism: “For an interview with Jocelyne Richer, you had to be well prepared for specific questions, I would even say surgical. She always wanted to get to the bottom of things, she didn’t easily let go of a subject that had piqued her curiosity. »
The PQ MP for Matane-Matapédia, Pascal Bérubé, made a point of highlighting “the contribution to Quebec journalism of a woman of head and heart, a talented journalist”.
“The flexibility of his pen, his deep knowledge of Quebec politics and his long experience with the members of this assembly have made his articles, over the years, examples of journalistic rigor,” said Mr. Bérubé.
Ms. Richer will have written thousands of texts on Quebec politics, and will have covered a total of seven election campaigns and seen five prime ministers.
In the opinion of Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, her most important faculty is “memory”, since she will have been able to follow the debates and the issues “precisely in their duration”, with the necessary perspective.