Born in Ottawa on October 22, 1929, Jean-Robert Gauthier practised as a chiropractor and first became involved in publical life through education, as a trustee on the Gloucester School Board (1961-1966) and a member of the Collegiate Board of Ottawa (1967-1969), and the Ottawa Board of Education (1969-1972). He was elected as the Liberal MP for Ottawa-East in 1972, 1974, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1993. In 1974 he proposed changing the name of his riding to Ottawa--Vanier. After serving as Chief Opposition Whip (1984-1990) and Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons (1990-1991), Gauthier was appointed to the Senate in 1994. From 1997 to 1999 he was president of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie. A passionate defender of language rights, he was awarded the Prix Boréal by the Fédération des Communautés Francophones et Acadiennes (1998), appointed officer of the Légion d’honneur (2002) and member of the Order of Canada (2006), and received an honourary doctorate of education from the University of Ottawa (1996). Jean-Robert Gauthier retired from the Senate on October 22, 2004. A catholic elementary school in Ottawa bares his name since 2006. He died in Ottawa on December 10, 2009.