Passing of Yvon Martineau, Great Jurist and Builder of Quebec Inc.

It is with great sadness and emotion that Blakes learned of the death of its Senior Counsel, Mr. Yvon Martineau, who succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer. Mr. Martineau passed away at Ÿ, surrounded by his loved ones, on Ÿ, 2015, at the age of 68.

“Mr. Martineau was a man of compassion and conviction who was fully dedicated to his clients and worked relentlessly until the bitter end to promote their interests. His constant commitment in both the legal and business communities and his contribution to Quebec’s economy is exemplary. His keen mind, seasoned perspective and spot-on analyses of the business world will be sorely missed,” said Robert Torralbo, Managing Partner of the Montréal office of Blakes.

Everyone at Blakes would like to extend their most sincere sympathies to Mr. Martineau’s family with whom we mourn a remarkable man. Our thoughts are with Mr. Martineau’s wife, Ÿ, and his children, Ÿ and Ÿ.

A Builder of Quebec Inc.

Mr. Martineau greatly contributed, both in Quebec and abroad, to the development of several large Quebec companies. He made his mark as a leader in several practices and led some important operations that greatly influenced the evolution and restructuring of financial institutions in the province. He made significant contributions to the Quebec community by promoting and defending its interests, be it at a cultural, professional, cooperative or economic level.

In the cooperative world, he acted as main external legal counsel of Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec. For more than two decades, he acted as the main external legal counsel of Agropur (an agricultural cooperative) and its subsidiary, Natrel, and advised them during their extraordinary growth during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. He also advised both governments and cooperative businesses in the drafting of legislative frameworks for cooperative activities in Canada, including in the financial and agricultural sectors.

In the private sector, Mr. Martineau was vice-chairman of the board of directors of Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) inc. and, as an external counsel, contributed to the remarkable development of this company, including its initial public offering in 1986 and its remarkable expansion later on.

Mr. Martineau was the chair of the Quebec Task Force on Financial Sector Regulation that led to the birth of the Autorité des marchés financiers. He was also chairman of the board of directors of Hydro-Québec and served as a legal counsel and/or a board member of several other companies such as Le Groupe Canam Manac Inc., Industries Sanimax inc., Plaisirs gastronomiques inc., Société d'Investissement Jeunesse, Québecor Inc., Berger-Levrault International lnc. and Groupe Accueil International Ltée.

Furthermore, Mr. Martineau was at the forefront of the creation of AMBAQ (the association of MBAs in Quebec) and served as the chairman of AEMBA (the HEC-MBA students association in Montréal). Mr. Martineau put his shoulder to the wheel of the Quebec economy and developed significant experience in corporate law. In 1995, he was awarded the title of MBA of the Year by AMBAQ.

“A leader is someone who, through their decisions and actions, inspires their peers and shapes the future.”
- Yvon Martineau

 

An Influential Jurist

Mr. Martineau practised in London, England, from 1982 to 1985. He was recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada in Corporate Law and Banking Law.

Mr. Martineau was also very involved in his professional order. He was a member of the board of directors of the Bar of Montréal and a member of the General Council of the Quebec Bar and its administrative committee. He also served two terms as chairman of the Quebec Bar Congress.

Mr. Martineau also played a major role in the public sector, including as in-house legal counsel with the Office of the Premier of Quebec from 1994 to 1995. He contributed to the preparation and drafting of various statutes and regulations, both private and public, including the Act respecting financial services cooperatives.

 

A Remarkable Man

Mr. Martineau was recognized by his peers for his professionalism, his outspokenness, his ethics, his ability to listen, his pragmatism and his ability to reconcile diverging opinions. All this made him an engaged citizen who cared deeply about the advancement of our society. As his colleague and long-time friend Paul Martel puts it: “Mr. Martineau was a pillar and a beacon in the corporate law world. He was a model of leadership, exceptional integrity and extraordinary professionalism.”

But beyond his professional commitment, we will remember Mr. Martineau as a man who was affable, kind and generous. Many of us were touched by his positive spirit and his great sense of humour. He appreciated every moment of his life and will remain a true source of inspiration for all of us. We will miss him.

The family wishes that sympathies be expressed as a donation to Ÿ.