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Here's How Quebec Premier François Legault Made His Fortune

His current salary is almost $200,000.
Here's How Quebec Premier François Legault Made His Fortune

Not much is publicly known about Quebec's controversial leader, Premier François Legault or how he came to amass a net worth that was reportedly almost $10 million in 2018.

Before co-founding Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and rising to power in the province, Legault was a jack of many trades — an accountant, the owner of Air Transat, a board member for Provigo.

He got his education from HEC in Montreal, similar to a lot of Montrealers. So if Legault can do it, so can you.

Scroll through to find out how the politician gained his fortune over the last 40 years. 

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He has an accounting background

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Legault earned his Bachelor of Applied Arts in business administration, specializing in public accounting, at HEC in 1978.

His first job out of university was as an auditor at Ernst & Young and he worked there until 1984. That same year, he finished a finance-focused MBA, also at HEC.

Legault has been a Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (Order of Chartered Accountants of Québec) since 2000.  

He built a multi-million dollar company

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In 1985, Legault became the director of finance and administration at Nationair Canada, and he went on to become the marketing director at Québécair.

A year later, Legault founded Air Transat with Jean-Marc Eustache and Philippe Sureau, and served as the company's president and CEO until 1997.

Air Transat is known for specializing in charter flights, like those included in many vacation packages. In 2015, the company flew in hundreds of Syrian refugees into Montreal.

The company was worth $520 million before it was bought by Air Canada for $190 million. The deal was approved by the Transat board of directors just last week, on October 8. It is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.*

He jumped from business to politics

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In 1998, Legault jumped from business to politics. He was appointed by then-Premier Lucien Bouchard as Minister of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology.

He decided to run as a member of the National Assembly (MNA) for the Parti Québécois (PQ) the following November in the riding of Rousseau, and he won.

Among other positions, Legault has been minister of education and youth and minister of health and social services.

However, he resigned as an MNA in 2009.

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Legault — who was the Official Opposition’s spokesperson on the economy and finance at the time — found "working in opposition very frustrating."

This led him to create the CAQ party in 2011, which rose to power in Quebec in 2018.

National Assembly information shows that Legault received an additional indemnity of $100,489 in 2020, for a total of $196,193 in remuneration. 

*This article has been updated.

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