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National Assembly: “Minister of Time” retires

National Assembly: “Minister of Time” retires

For 43 years, André Viger has overseen the smooth running of the National Assembly's activities by ensuring that all clocks are accurate to the nearest second, a task he will stop in May to enjoy a well-deserved retirement at the age of 81.

Every Tuesday, the “Minister of Time” goes to Parliament to maintain and fill about thirty hours.

“I have 23 that are over 100 years old. I have about a dozen that are electric and electronic,” Mr. Viger said while touring the National Assembly with TVA Nouvelles, a few weeks before his retirement.

TVA News/QMI Agency

André Viger took office just a year after the 1980 referendum, and saw decades of politics pass before his eyes. “Time, in the National Assembly, we know runs by the second. It creates pressure,” he laughed in the corridors of Parliament.

But over the years, wear and tear takes its toll on the skilled watchmaker, whose workday is more physical than it seems. “I usually climb about 700 to 800 steps. On this day, I don't do any running. But I've always been in good shape,” Mr. Fieger laughed.

TVA News/QMI Agency

In the Parliament Tower, Mr. Fager must turn on the clock that adorns the building, so that it is visible to all who pass in front of the building.

“I've done 100 laps of winding this way, for many years, without stopping. Today, I stop every 20 or 25 laps, because I don't want to take my breath away and take advantage of my age.

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After years of living out his passion within the temple of Quebec's democracy, Mr. Viger decided not to bid this year, forcing the National Assembly to find a successor.

TVA News/QMI Agency

But there is no doubt that this enthusiast hangs up the screwdriver and closes his workshop.

“I'm having a lot of fun, sir, there's no problem with that. The hours are my life, and I have my family. “I'm lucky as well as having a family that really envy me,” said Mr. Viger, who wants to “continue working as long as possible, because there is no “Something that would keep me healthy like work.”