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A Legacy of Partnership

For more than 27 years now, the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent has been under the direction of Mr. Francois Landreville. His departure thus marks the end of an era of partnership and teamwork. Indeed, under his leadership, the organization’s culture has been truly embedded with these attributes.
In the area that concerns us, namely social development, these partnerships have been more than precious. Without this strong framework, we would not have been able to achieve, at such low cost, so many structuring projects that have become cornerstones for our community.
Take, for example, the recognition and promotion of volunteerism. Vision-Bénévolat and its different events would not have been possible without the participation of the MRC, which assumed a leadership role and also contributed in terms of logistics. Great women like Betty Riel and Mary Shewchuk were thus able to be recognized for their true contributions thanks to this involvement.
Following the Huntingdon factory closures of 2004, the MRC also became a founding pillar of Actions Haut-Saint-Laurent (AHSL), a committee created to offer support to the families who were victims of these closures. Over time, throughout its growth and successful realisations, AHSL has continued to operate and offer impressive results for the Haut-Saint-Laurent. This having been accomplished by the implementation of dozens of exciting and structuring projects funded by several different actors, including the Fond de Développement du Territoire (FDT) of the MRC. A Social Development Plan was, furthermore, recently adopted and will give rise this spring to a second Forum on the subject.

 

From Left to Right: François Rochefort, former mayor of the Très-Saint-Sacrament, Charles Gascon, former social development officer, Jo-Anne Themens, former head of the CISSS Public Health, Social Development and Community Development Program of Montérégie-Ouest, Jardins-Roussilon and Haut-Saint-Laurent territories, Louise Lebrun, Prefect of the Haut-Saint-Laurent and Mayor of Sainte-Barbe, Florence Bérard, Director of the CLD Haut-Saint-Laurent, Suzanne Yelle Blair, former mayor of Franklin, Denis Henderson, mayor of Havelock, Alain Castagner, former mayor of Saint-Anicet, and François Landreville, executive director of the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM.

Since the beginning, the MRC was a leader in creating support for Friends of Seniors Municipalities (MADA) as well as in the various Family Policies implemented in our area. Such steps have shown to serve as revitalization engines within their communities, with our own MRC being among the first of the MRCs to jump on the bandwagon in the Montérégie. Such efforts, when undertaken on a municipal level, making all the difference in the world!
A final example of the success of this culture which gives back: the Haut-Saint-Laurent’s Communi-T Nights. The four annual editions of these events allow us to reach more than 400 people each year, and would never have known such a boom without the key input of the MRC and its team of contributors.
Countless other examples could be given. Even the foundation of the CDC du Haut-Saint-Laurent itself is the fruit of collaboration with the MRC.
In short, it isn’t surprising that we are envied elsewhere in Québec. Our history of teamwork within the municipal environment is incomparable. In the Montérégie West, it is also well-known that it is possible to accomplish a lot with very little money here in the Haut-Saint-Laurent. The different players and partners have successfully developed a synergy that is second to none.
So, Mr. Landreville – with his open, ground-breaking, energetic style – has allowed the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the organization as well as the territory, to stand out most favorably.
Fortunately, the future looks to be just as bright. Being administered by a new board, filled with consideration for social issues, the local partners have great hopes that our new regional counsellors will perpetuate this tradition of partnership.

Open letter written by Rémi Pelletier, on behalf of the members and partners of the CDC du Haut-Saint-Laurent
Haut-Saint-Laurent, February 2nd, 2018.

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