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Facts about Marois, Couillard and Legault

Facts about Marois, Couillard and LegaultQuebec political party leaders Pauline Marois, Philippe Couillard and Francois Legault are shown in recent file photos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/files

MONTREAL - Quebecers will vote in a provincial election on April 7. Here are sketches of Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois, Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard and Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition for Quebec's Future:

Marois:

Born: March 29, 1949, in Quebec City.

Education: Bachelor's degree in social services from Universite Laval; master's in business administration from l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales in Montreal.

Professional career: Social services administrator, 1971-79; political attache for PQ, 1978-79; university professor, 1988.

Political career: First elected to legislature, 1981; named to cabinet as minister for status of women, 1982; lost PQ leadership race to Pierre Marc Johnson, 1985; served in various senior cabinet positions in PQ governments, 1994-2003, including finance (1995-1996, 2001-2002), health (1998-2001); deputy premier (2001-2003); lost PQ leadership race to Andre Boisclair, 2005; acclaimed as PQ leader, 2007; became leader of Official Opposition after 2008 provincial election; elected premier, September 2012.

Personal: Married to Claude Blanchet, former head of Quebec government's investment arm. They have four children.

Quote: "We have a charter that allows us to respect our common values such as the equality between men and women as well as the religious neutrality of the state." — Marois talking about her government's proposed charter of values as she announced the election call.

— — —

Couillard:

Born: June, 26, 1957, Montreal

Education: Specialist certificate, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 1985; specialist certificate, College des medecins du Quebec, 1985; neurosurgery diploma, Universite de Montreal, 1985.

Professional career: head surgeon in the neurosurgery department at St-Luc Hospital, 1989-92; head surgeon and director of the surgery department at Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, 2000-03; senior fellow in health law at McGill University, 2009-11; strategic adviser in health and life sciences with Secor-KPMG, 2011-12.

Political career: First elected to legislature, 2003; health minister, 2003-08; elected Liberal leader, March 2013; won byelection, December 2013.

Personal: Married to Suzanne Pilote. They have five children.

Quote: "The regular season is over. We're heading into the playoffs.'' _ Couillard at his campaign launch.

— — —

Legault:

Born: May 26, 1957, in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que.

Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration, l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales, 1978; master's in business administration, l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales, 1984.

Professional career: Auditor with Ernst &Young, 1978-84; co-founder of Air Transat, 1986.

Political career: Elected to legislature with the Parti Quebecois, 1998; minister of commerce and industry, 1998; education minister, 1998-2002; health minister, 2002-03; co-founder of Coalition for Quebec's Future, 2011.

Personal: Married to Isabelle Brais. They have two children.

Quote: "We are better prepared than last time. We already have 110, 115 candidates chosen, our platform is written, our game plan for the next 35 days is prepared, our advertising is ready. We have a better team than last time, not all well known, but competent, especially on the economy." — Legault on his election team.

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