The Honourable Jean Lapointe retired on December 6, 2010.
Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Jean Lapointe represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Saurel. He has served in the Senate of Canada since June 13, 2001.
He is a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages as well as the Joint Standing Committee on the Library of Parliament.
He is among the most brilliant Canadian performers of the last half-century.
Before embarking on his extraordinary solo career as a singer, comedian, raconteur and actor, Senator Lapointe had great success as part of the duo Les Jérolas. For almost 20 years, Les Jérolas were the most popular entertainers in Quebec, and were the first Quebecois performers to be invited to appear on the legendary American television series The Ed Sullivan Show. They also were a hit in France at the Olympia in Paris.
Senator Lapointe embarked on his solo career in 1975 with his first show, his first record, and appearances in two films. Since then, he has created and performed in more than 15 new shows, recorded as many records and played numerous characters on television and in films. Highly respected by critics and loved by the public, Senator Lapointe stands in the front ranks of Francophone culture. His being named « Grand Québécois de l'année » in 1995 and the tribute he was given at the 2000 Gala des Oliviers are two notable examples.
Complementing his busy life as an artist, Senator Lapointe undertook an important community initiative in Quebec in 1981, creating the Jean Lapointe Foundation to help members of the community fight alcoholism and other addictions. Each year, the Foundation gives funds to the Maison Jean Lapointe as well as more than 30 other organizations that work towards rehabilitating those who suffer from addictions. There are also three Jean Lapointe Centres for teenagers, the only facilities in Quebec that offer therapy and rehabilitation that are completely free of charge to addicts between the ages of 12 and 18.
In recognition of his many artistic achievements and his social commitment, Senator Lapointe was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984. He has received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada from the Governor General, as well as two honourary doctorates from Quebec universities. He is a Life Member of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, and a member of the Stamp Advisory Committee of Canada Post.
Senator Lapointe was born on December 6, 1935.