Former Pontiac MP and Fort-Coulonge native Robert Bertrand passed away yesterday (May 17) due to cancer. He represented the riding, which was then known as Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, for the federal Liberals from 1993 to 2004.
Bertrand was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993, as part of the party’s landslide victory under Jean Chrétien. He won another two campaigns in 1997 and 2000, and also served as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of National Defence from 1998 to 2000. He tried to run again in 2004, but lost the Liberal nomination to David Smith.
A businessman in the insurance field, Bertrand also served as Grand Chief of the Native Alliance of Quebec and National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.