Longest-serving Quebec justice minister, Marc-Andre Bedard, dead of COVID-19 at 85

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MONTREAL — Marc-Andre Bedard, a well-known politician with the Parti Quebecois and loyalist to Rene Levesque, has died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 85.

Bedard was Quebec's longest-serving justice minister, from 1976 to 1985, and also served as deputy premier in 1984 in Levesque's government.

He helped advance a series of reforms to the province's justice system, including the amendments to protect homosexuals and disabled people in the human rights charter. 

His son, Stephane Bedard, was also elected with the PQ, and served as Treasury Board president during the Pauline Marois government, between 2012 and 2014.

On Wednesday, Stephane Bedard said his father was hospitalized with complications from COVID-19, and hours later, he said his father was dead.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault on Wednesday called Bedard a "great man."

This report by The Canadian Press was first publishes Nov. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press