Michel and Simonne Chartrand were married, and they influenced Quebec history. Both were socially engaged, and they were active in various organizations for social justice, workers’ rights, women’s rights and peace.  They had seven children.

Simonne Monet-Chartrand (1919-1993)

In 1980, Simonne Monet-Chartrand, at 61 years old, was nevertheless still among the most active of Quebec feminists and was about to publish her biography under the title Ma vie comme rivière/? My Life as a River. Simonne Monet-Chartrand had been fighting since 1950. From that time, she had campaigned for women to take part in union negotiations. In the 1960s, she was very active in the feminist movement and participated in the creation of organizations such as Voice of Women and the Women’s Federation of Quebec. In the 1970s, she travelled the world giving lectures on feminism and peace.

Michel Chartrand (1913-2010)

See French video at http://primaire.recitus.qc.ca/sujets/13/personnages-marquants/3970

Simonne’s husband, Michel Chartrand, was 64 years old in 1980, but he was still very active as well. He travelled throughout Quebec promoting social justice, workers’ rights and the protection of the health and safety of workers. Michel Chartrand is one of the most famous figures of Quebec unionism. He began his career in the late 1940s, during a strike by the asbestos workers in the town of Asbestos. He then became involved in politics and the labor movement. He served as President of the Central Council of the National Union of Montreal from 1968 to 1978. For his outspokenness, his determination and energy, Michel Chartrand helped to advance the cause of workers in Quebec.

A remarkable couple                     

As a couple, the Chartrands certainly influenced modern Quebec with their engagement and dynamism. Michel and Simonne worked hard to achieve greater social justice. In 2000, Alain Chartrand, son of Michael and Simonne, produced Simonne et Chartrand, a television series, to pay tribute to his parents.

Author:  Alexandre Lanoix

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