Former Liberal cabinet minister Paul Gérin-Lajoie has died at the age of 98.

Elected to the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges in 1960, he served as minister of youth from then until 1964, and as education minister from 1964 to 1966. He was considered a key player in changes made to the province’s education system at that time, under the premiership of Jean Lesage.

Following the recommendations of the Parent Commission, a new school system was created in 1964. Among his achievements were free public education, compulsory schooling for Quebecers up to age 16, and creating an exchange program for older students to attend school in France.

Gérin-Lajoie was known as a ‘peaceful revolutionary,’ making his mark during Quebec’s Quiet Revolution. Along with Lesage, René Lévesque and Georges-Emile Lapalme, Gérin-Lajoie helped move the Duplessis-era in Quebec back to the modern age.

A pavilion at UQAM is named after him.

Premier Philippe Couillard announced that Gérin-Lajoie will be given a national funeral.

- With files from The Canadian Press