Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Meilleur was born in the small Quebec community of Kiamika . She is both a registered nurse and a lawyer, specializing in labour and employment law. She has served on the Ottawa-Carleton Regional District Health Council, the Champlain District Health Council, the Ottawa-Carleton Children's Aid Society and the Vanier Housing Corporation. She has also played an active role in promoting tourism to the city.
Meilleur was elected to the city of Vanier's municipal council in 1991, and also served as a council member in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (which included members from Vanier and other local municipalities). In 1997, she became a city councillor in the newly amalgamated city of Ottawa. During her time in municipal government, Meilleur represented the council on the French-Language Services Advisory Committe. She received the United Way's Community Builder's Award in 2001 and le prix d'Excellence from the Réseau socioactif des femmes francophones in 2002. In July 2001, she was named Ottawa's deputy mayor.
In 2003, Meilleur was appointed as the Liberal Party candidate in the provincial riding of Ottawa-Vanier, after party leader Dalton McGuinty rejected a challenge from rival David Merner . Ottawa-Vanier has a large francophone population and is known as a safe seat for the Liberal Party, although it was initially unclear if Meilleur would face a challenge in the general election from Claudette Boyer, an Independent Liberal who had been expelled from the party after a legal infraction. Boyer ultimately decided not to run, and Meilleur was elected without difficulty. She was 54 years old at the time of the election.
The Liberals won the election, and Meilleur was appointed Ontario Minister of Culture with responsibility for Francophone Affairs on October 23, 2003. She has not yet emerged as a significant figure within the government, but is regarded by many as an up-and-coming star within the Liberal Party.
In November 2003, Meilleur announced that provincial grants would be made available to libraries in rural communities. In April 2004, she announced the extension of demolition controls on heritage buildings. She is also known to favour the extension of official bilingualism in Ottawa and Ontario.
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