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Sarto Fournier (1957-1960)

Sarto Fournier was born 15 February 1909 in East-Broughton. He was mayor of Montréal from 1957 to 1960. He died 23 July 1980 in Ottawa.

He studied law at McGill University and at the Université de Montréal. He was only 27 when he became the Liberal MP for Maisonneuve-Rosemont.  He was re-elected at the three following elections, in 1940, 1945, and 1949. He was called to the bar in 1938. In 1953, he entered the senate, called by Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent. He was then the youngest Canadian senator.

He had been interested in municipal politics since 1950. Although he ran for mayor five times between 1950 and 1962, he won only once, in 1957, against Jean Drapeau. At this election, Fournier was heading a new municipal party, the Ralliement du Grand Montréal, which gathered all opponents of Jean Drapeau. Fournier took also advantage of the support of the Québec prime minister, Maurice Duplessis.

During his term as mayor, Fournier confined himself to representative functions and acted more as a spectator, mainly because the Civic Party of Jean Drapeau controlled the city council.  

His administration was especially marked by the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway,  the Métropolitain Boulevard, the candidacy of Montréal for the 1967 World Fair. After his attempts to run for mayor, Fournier decided to return to the Senate.


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