Born in Montreal in 1977, Yolande James is a lawyer whose political commitment has led her to become a Quebec Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and a political analyst.
Montreal MNA for Nelligan from 2004 to 2014, she became the first black person named to Quebec’s ministerial cabinet in 2007. She was Minister of Immigration from 2007 to 2010 and then Minister of Families until 2012, she left provincial politics in 2014. She became a political analyst on Radio-Canada and CBC. She was part of the daily program “Club des ex” on RDI.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil law from the Université de Montréal, a bachelor’s degree in common law from Queen’s University and she has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2004.
Her interest in politics comes from her numerous social and political implications in which she was involved since she was a teenager. From 1994 to 1998, she worked on the development of a program for youth with learning disabilities in the West Island of Montreal. At the Université de Montréal, she became a member of the Organizing Committee of Black History Month. In 2003, she was awarded the Senator Frank Carrel Scholarship. From 2005 to 2007, she was a member of the board of directors of the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse.
She is married and the mother of a 3-year-old boy.