Gil Rémillard holds degrees in Philosophy (1965), Politics and Economics (1968) and has a doctoral degree in Law (1972). He has worked in the fields of teaching, private law and politics.
Upon returning from Europe in 1973, where he completed his Ph.D., Mr. Rémillard began teaching constitutional and administrative law at Laval University’s Faculty of Law and practiced law at the Chouinard, Rémillard, Bussière & Robinson law firm. During this time, he also acted as advisor to the Québec and Ottawa governments on reforming administrative bodies. In 1983, he became a special constitutional advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and an advisor to the United Nations Canadian delegation in New York. He has appeared before all levels of the Canadian court system, including the Supreme Court of Canada. From 1981 to 1985, he chaired the Québec Constitutional Conferences, which numbered Prime Ministers Trudeau and Mulroney, as well as Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (former Secretary-General of the United Nations).
On December 2, 1985, Mr. Rémillard was elected as the member for the Québec City riding of Jean-Talon; 10 days later, he was sworn in as a Member of Premier Robert Bourassa’s Liberal government. Within that government, he held several positions, being successively Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of International Relations, Minister of Public Security, and Minister of Justice. As Québec’s Minister of Justice for nearly six years, Mr. Rémillard was responsible for the implementation of the new Civil Code of Québec, which came into effect January 1, 1994. In 1990, he presided over the creation of the Human Rights Tribunal of Québec and, in 1992, convened a major Justice Summit, which resulted in the creation of the Prix de la justice Award that, each year, recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals who have worked to ensure and promote the quality, universality and accessibility of justice.
As Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Rémillard headed the negotiations which led to the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, in 1987 and 1992 respectively. While not officially part of the Canadian Constitution, these two agreements had a considerable impact on Canadian federalism, primarily because the Parliament of Canada recognized the “Quebec nation” and the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged the principles of cooperative federalism.
In January 1994, Mr. Rémillard left the political arena. Starting on February 1, 1994 and for the next 22 years, he taught at the École Nationale d’Administration Publique (ÉNAP), where he lectured on administrative and international law and gave a course on the principles and issues involved in public administration (February 1994 – April 2016). He also served as counsel to the law firm Dentons Canada LLP. In 1995, along with his wife Marie DuPont and his son Nicholas Rémillard, he founded the International Economic Forum of the Americas which annually presents the Conference of Montreal in June, the Toronto Global Forum in September and the World Strategic Forum in April in Miami. These forums are intended to promote understanding of the major issues involved in economic globalization.
From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Rémillard was an advisor to the governments of the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria concerning the reform of their Civil Codes, as part of the preparation for their entry into the European Union.
From 2008 to 2012, he acted as a negotiator for the Québec Government and Secretary General of the Québec-France Mutual Recognition Agreement that establishes equivalency of professional qualifications for many trades and professions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mr. Rémillard is the President and publisher of the economic magazine FORCES. He is also the author of several books and articles, among them Le fédéralisme canadien, Volumes I and II, and has edited a number of collections, including Global Economy: The Foundation for the Next Era of Growth, published in 2014.
In 1992, he was made Doctor Honoris Causa by the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Aix-Marseille University, France. In 1994, he was awarded the Mérite du Barreau by the Québec Bar for his assistance in creating the new Civil Code of Québec. In 2001, he was appointed to the Order of Canada and, in 2002, was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2004, he received the Ordre national du Québec and, that same year, was made a Knight of France’s Légion d’honneur by French President Jacques Chirac. In May 2007, he was granted the honorary title of Advocatus Emeritus by the Québec Bar. In 2013, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the France-Canada Institute’s Samuel de Champlain prize. That same year, Ottawa’s Saint Paul University named him Alumnus of the Year and established a fund in his name, and that of his wife, Marie DuPont, to help children with learning disabilities. In January 2014, Mr. Rémillard was elected President of the Légion d’honneur Members’ Association, Montréal chapter. In October 2016, he was made an Officer of France's Légion d'honneur by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
A dyslexic himself, Mr. Rémillard devotes his philanthropic efforts to a variety of organizations that help children with learning disabilities. He serves on a number of Boards of Directors, among them that of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, co-chaired by Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, and John Ralston Saul, that helps welcome new citizens and integrate them into Canadian life.
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