Vanier College alumna Yolande James made history with her cabinet appointment in the Charest government in April 2007. Not only is Yolande the first black cabinet minister in Quebec history, she was also the first black woman ever elected to the provincial legislature.

She appeared in the Montreal Gazette in January 2009 announcing the unveiling of a new Canada Post stamp honouring Rosemary Brown as part of the City of Montreal’s Black History Month. You can see a photo of Yolande at the unveiling. By the way, Rosemary Brown was the guest of honour when she gave her “Women on the Move” lecture during Vanier’s 1999 Women’s Week.

In a cabinet shuffle in August 2010, she retained the Family portfolio, but lost her culture and immigration duties to Kathleen Weil. On February 24, 2014, James announced she was leaving politics, and would not seek re-election in the then-upcoming 2014 election.

Ms. James now sits as a political commentator on the popular Radio-Canada TV show, Les Ex, also aired on RDI. She remains very vocal on the protection of anglophone rights and is also highly knowledgeable on allophone integration and rights; perhaps not surprising coming from the perspective of someone who belongs to both groups and also from her experience as a former Quebec Minister of Culture and Immigration.



Previous Entries on Yolande James

April 2007

Read more about Yolande’s history-making appointment as the Minister for Immigration and Cultural Communities in this excerpt from an article that appeared in the Montreal Gazette.

September 2004

Yolande James Elected In Nelligan Former Vanier Student Wins in West Island By-Election

Yolande James, a 26-year-old lawyer and a graduate of Vanier College won the by-election in the riding of Nelligan with a convincing win over her main rival, independant candidate Michel Gibson, a longtime city councillor in Kirkland.

Prior to her election campaign, Yolande had worked as a political aide to Health Minister Philippe Couillard and as a political attaché to the former MNA of Nelligan, Russ Williams.

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