When the crisis in Quebec began, three individuals emerged as the faces of the government's response. The daily public updates by Premier François Legault, Health and Social Services Minister Danielle McCann, and National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda have cemented their images in the minds of Quebec residents — for better and for worse. Dr. Arruda quickly became the breakout star of the trio, rising from obscurity to international fame with his quirky remarks. Quietly, however, Deputy Premier of Quebec Geneviève Guilbault has also gained prominence.
The Deputy Premier, who is also Minister of Public Security and Minister Responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region, fills in for Legault when he's absent from press conferences.
Her name and face have reentered the public consciousness as a result.
On social media, especially, Guilbault stands out from her colleagues.
Unlike the reclusive Arruda and McCann, and the famously austere Legault, who, since the beginning of the crisis, has tepidly attempted to open up to the public, she shares extensive insight into her roles in government, as well as her family life.
With a background in journalism and public communication — she earned her Masters from the Université Laval in 2011 — Guilbault served for eight years as a media relations officer for the Bureau du coroner.
She was first elected to the National Assembly from the Louis-Hébert electoral riding of Quebec City in what the Montreal Gazette called a "landslide upset win" against the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) in October 2017.
The victory was an indication of success to come. Legault and Guilbault's party, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), would come to unseat the PLQ government the following year.
In October 2018, Legault named her Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Security, and Minister Responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region in his new government.
It's in these roles that Guilbault shares the most images of her daily engagements.
The Deputy Premier is equally open about her family, posting regular updates and photos of her children and partner.
She welcomed her first child in 2017 and announced the arrival of her second in a January 2020 Instagram post.
"The family is now complete!" she wrote (translated from French).
More recently, during the ongoing health crisis, Guilbault has shown that her government and family roles have overlapped.
An April 17 post shows her engaging in a remote meeting with municipal leaders of the Capitale-Nationale Region with her son swaddled on her chest.
The Deputy Premier will undoubtedly continue to make public appearances as the outbreak unfolds — and especially as the province begins to gradually reopen.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.