A native of Quebec City, Jean-Philippe Côté studied civil law at the University of Ottawa. He became a member of the Quebec Bar in 1992. He also studied environmental law as part of the Master’s program taught at the University of California, at Berkeley.
In 1993, after working for a number of years in Montreal for the law firm Stikeman Elliot, Mr. Côté decided to pursue his cinema and theatre studies at New York University and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, before establishing his own film production company (Norfilms) in Quebec in 1996.
As an active member of the Liberal Party of Canada policy commission since 1998, with a particular interest in cultural issues, Mr. Côté decided to enter political life in the fall of 2000, when he ran against Gilles Duceppe in the riding of Laurier – Sainte-Marie.
In February 2001, he joined the office of the Right Hon. Herb Gray as a policy advisor for Quebec. He joined the Hon. John Manley’s staff in January 2002, assuming the same responsibilities and also contributing to communications for Quebec and French-speaking Canada.
When the Right Hon. Paul Martin became Prime Minister, Mr. Côté decided to stand as a candidate in Quebec.