A Small Journey Into the Real Cold North

Last Thursday and Friday, I was in the cold reality of the North, nevertheless, it largely compensates with the warmth and generosity of the people living in Thunder Bay, specially the Francophone population. It was my second visit in this city since my nomination. Sincerely, I just love going there. First, the air is so fresh and pure. Second, the area is very beautiful. Third and most importantly, I feel like I belong there. It is simply quite humbling to meet so many people who wear so many hats and who are so very much dedicated to the well-being of their own community. It is when I  meet such people that I remember why we must work even harder, even if just to let them know they are not alone in their relentless pursuit of improving services to the Franco-Ontarian community in the North. It is in Thunder Bay last Friday morning that I learned of the passing of one extraordinary man who never let down his guard. Needless to say, everyone I’ve met spoke at great lengths of Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier and of his numerous legacies.

I was also there to conduct some business. So I had the chance to meet with the local LHIN Board of Directors and I was pleased with this meeting. I felt we truly had a good exchange. The same morning, I met the CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, Mr. Ron Saddington, a true ally of the French community. Often, we forget that many of our friends do share our passion and commitment for the preservation of the French culture. So we need these leaders as well and I am glad to have recognized one of them.

Later on, I met with community members and we had a very interesting conversation; almost as interesting as my exchange with students from grade 12 at the end of the day. Big thanks to all for the warm welcome, especially for the meet and greet event on Thursday evening. So Denyse, Angèle, Chantal, and all others, until next time!

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