SIMARD, GEORGES-HONORÉ, businessman and politician; b. 18 April 1817, in Quebec City, son of Pierre Simard and Louise Clouet; m. 3 Sept. 1844, Julie Measam (of their children three survived him); d. 27 June 1873 at Sainte-Foy, Que.
Georges-Honoré Simard received his education in Quebec City, where he began his career as a printer. He soon abandoned this trade to enter the hardware business, first with his uncle, Michel Clouet, and later with his own firm of Chinic, Simard et Méthot. He sold his interests in the firm in 1860 and later became sole proprietor of the Quebec Plaster Mills. At various times he held office in a number of companies, banks, societies, and on boards in Quebec, including president of the City Building Society, 1857–59, vice-president of the Caisse d’Économie de Notre-Dame de Québec from 1858, director of the De Lery Gold Mining Company from 1865 [see Alexandre-Réné Chaussegros], vice-president of the Shipbuilding Association [see Charest] in the same year, and director of the Union Bank of Lower Canada, 1867–71. In 1859, he was appointed a member, and in 1870 the chairman, of the Quebec Harbour Commissioners Board.
Simard attempted to enter politics in 1854, when he contested the Quebec City seat for the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He was defeated but ran again for the same riding in the by-election of 27 Oct. 1856 and in the general election of 1857 and was successful in both instances. Violence and political machinations surrounded the latter election, and he was unseated by petition on 16 April 1860, but in the subsequent by-election, held on 7 May, in Quebec Centre, was returned. Defeated in 1863, he served on a number of commissions for the next few years. One, appointed in 1865, was for an investigation of the failure of St Roch’s Savings Bank. On several occasions he was a member of a permanent commission for the erection and maintenance of parish buildings in the Quebec diocese. In 1867 Simard was elected by acclamation to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Quebec Centre, and to the House of Commons for Quebec City. He retired from provincial politics in 1871 and from federal politics in 1872.
Throughout his life Simard was a successful businessman and he always maintained firm connections with the mercantile community. As a politician, he was active in Quebec interests. In the debates on a capital for the united province, he strongly supported Quebec City and when Ottawa was chosen in 1857 he bitterly attacked George-Étienne Cartier for his compromising attitude. He was a Conservative and a loyal supporter of Cartier but, on this occasion, he voted against him.
PAC, RG 68, 1. L’Événement (Québec), 1840–juill. 1873. Morning Chronicle (Quebec) 28 June 1873. Quebec Mercury, 1840–July 1873. [G.-É. Cartier], Discours de sir Georges Cartier . . . , Joseph Tassé, édit. (Montréal, 1893). Can. directory of parliament (Johnson), 530. Can. parl. comp., 1867; 1869; 1871; 1872. P.-G. Roy, Fils de Québec, IV, 16–18. Rumilly, Hist. de la prov. de Québec, I.