Bourassa, Robert

Bourassa, Robert, 1933–96, Canadian political leader. He received a law degree from the Univ. of Montreal (1957) and later studied at Oxford and Harvard. He was elected to the Quebec Legislative Assembly in 1966. In 1970 he became leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and then premier of the province. He was reelected in 1973, but in 1976 his party was defeated by the Parti Québécois. He returned to politics in 1983 as leader of the Liberal party, subsequently serving again as premier (1985–93). Bourassa was an advocate of Quebec autonomy within a sovereign Canada and a strong supporter of the failed Meech Lake Accord (1990) and subsequent unsuccessful attempts to redefine provincial rights in the Canadian constitution.

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