The two PQ cabinet ministers whose signatures accompanied Premier Bernard Landry’s on the Agreement-in-principle have resigned. Jacques Brassard and Guy Chevrette stepped down the day before Premier Landry’s cabinet shuffle Jan. 30. David Cliche, MNA for Vimont and minister for research, science and technology also resigned a day before the swearing-in of the new cabinet.

Brassard, 61, and Chevrette, 62, are PQ party veterans who were both initially elected in 1976 when Rene Levesque first swept into power. Brassard and Chevrette have each put in 25 years service, having both been re-elected in 1981, 1985, 1989, 1994 and 1998.The two ministers were at the table in Quebec City, Oct. 23, when the AIP was signed between the Quebec government and Cree leaders.

Until resigning, Brassard had held the posts of minister of natural resources, government house leader, minister responsible for electoral reform and minister responsiblefor the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and North Shore regions. Landry had informed Brassard that his new duties would be reduced to house leader and electoral reform.

Chevrette, MNA for Joliette, served as minister of transport, minister delegate of native affairs, minister responsible for electoral reform, minister responsible for parks and nature, and minister responsible for the Lanaudiere and northern Quebec regions. Chevrette’s responsibilities would have been reduced to native affairs.

Cliche, 49, had been told by Landry that his services were no longer needed. Like Brassard and Chevrette, he too gave up his seat as an MNA as well as stepping down from the cabinet. Brassard and Chevrette could have hung on in their reduced roles and collected all the benefits that came with their positions, but the insult proved too great for the proud party veterans. They won’t be forced to eat in soup kitchens, however, as both are up for pensions in the neighbourhood of $100,000 annually.