Date: December 22, 2016
Credit: City of Montréal, Borough of Verdun
Anne-Marie Belleau: Tell us about the evening of October 25, 1995.
Jean-Marc Lacoste: OK. For me, it was an important event. I came here with my wife, some other people and probably a few… a few brothers, friends, etc. We were here in the Auditorium, placed on the side. It was an event of historical importance. The media talked everywhere, about what happened at the Verdun Auditorium. And me, the big surprise of that evening was Mario Dumont. He had filled me with enthusiasm. I had been enthusiastic about the speech that he had made. Some people talk about Lucien Bouchard, Jacques Parizeau, but for me who was here, it was Mario Dumont who had impressed me, a youngster, so, by the overall enthusiasm. The Auditorium was packed. I think the people mainly came by metro. We talked earlier there may also have been buses, but to my knowledge, the people came by metro a lot, since the Auditorium is geographically ideally located for… because of the metro. So that, we will be able to do many events like that again at the Auditorium.
Anne-Marie Belleau: So, how do you recall the atmosphere of that evening? How long did the evening last?
Jean-Marc Lacoste: Probably a good two hours before all the speeches had been done; it seems to me a good two hours. It was very enthusiastic. As regards of the ’95 referendum, the feeling was that it was very tight indeed. So it didn’t start, like, out big for the “Yes”, but there was maybe a little bit step ahead for the “Yes”. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t go like that, but just a few fractions of percentage away. So, but there was a lot of enthusiasm. Me, I have always said: “In politics, we must never underestimate the events”. In other words, we’re not going to pretend before a result. You say: “Oh no, they won’t win. They’re going to lose.” etc. You never know with an election. I recently took part in the provincial election in Verdun, again, I went to stick my nose in it a little bit, and I said all the time: “Do not underestimate the results.” We must never say to someone: “Oh no, he’ll never win. He has no chance.” So it’s the same thing for ’95 referendum. At first, I’m sure there wasn’t necessarily any enthusiasm, but little by little, it increased, it increased. Lucien Bouchard arrived to replace Parizeau as the head of the “Yes” committee, so it’s… we must never underestimate. In politics, for me, that’s a rule. Mario Dumont constantly used to say: “One month is an eternity in politics.” So it can
go your way, but it can also change.