Gilles Duceppe (French pronunciation: ; born July 22, 1947) is a Canadian politician, and proponent of the Québec sovereignty movement. He was a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons for over 20 years and was the leader of the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois for almost 15 years. He is the son of a well-known Quebec actor, Jean Duceppe. He was Leader of the Official Opposition in the Parliament of Canada from March 17, 1997 to June 1, 1997. He resigned as party leader after 2011 election, in which he lost his own seat to New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Hélène Laverdière and his party suffered a heavy defeat.
Duceppe was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Hélène (née Rowley) and actor Jean Duceppe. His maternal grandfather was John James Rowley, a Briton by birth and a home child. Duceppe's British roots had him once quip that "I'm a bloke who turned Bloc."
Duceppe has told the story of an Anglophone Grade 6 teacher slapping him after he complained about preferential treatment being given to anglophone students. Duceppe claimed he slapped the teacher back. In any event, he became a sovereignist by the age of 20, inspired by René Lévesque and the founding of the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association.