I would like to share with you my admiration for a wonderful woman, Caroline Codsi, founder of the non-profit organization La Gouvernance au Féminin and who chairs this organization. It works and ensures gender parity and equality. It supports the accession of women to decision-making positions and seats on boards of directors. Its mission is to restore equality of wage income between women and men. She chose to dedicate her passion, energy and vision to serving women. I knew Caroline as an employee (now retired) of Mercer Canada Limited, a company that had obtained its “parity certification” from Women in Governance. Caroline Codsi deserves appreciation and thanks from all of us Quebecers.
I met David Hervieux around 1997. At the time, I was employed by a computer consulting firm and he had used our services through his employer, Pirel inc. David always had several ideas for products or businesses to create. He is a seasoned computer scientist, but what strikes you most about him is his positive attitude, his charisma and his personality. He is curious, intelligent and interested. David is the founder of Devolutions, a leading IT security company. This company of nearly a hundred employees has experienced very rapid growth, sells its products in more than 120 countries and has several prestigious customers such as Shell, NASA, Dell and Sony. In 2016, David won the CEO of the Year award from Investissement Quebec. And David is still young! He knew how to build a company loved by his employees. Finally, David gives back a lot to the community. For example, Devolutions donated $150,000 to Lavaltrie schools last year. David cares about his community and never hesitates to help. For all these reasons, I want to nominate David Hervieux as someone who moves Quebec!
My daughter, Judith Goulet, is an elementary school teacher in a school that is part of the Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup school service centre. She had the idea of getting the children in her class moving for a few minutes in the morning, which had the effect of improving their receptivity and their concentration in class. In view of this observable success, physical activity sessions (cardiobubbles) were organized in all classes of the school, to the delight of students and teachers. Then, the activity was offered in all schools using Zoom. The physical activity session of a few minutes that took place in Judith’s class was captured by camera and broadcast. It could be viewed live and delayed. This is how sessions were broadcast in several schools in Quebec, especially, but also on the other side of the Atlantic.
I would submit the profile of Haskan Sioui, General Manager of Investissement Premieres Nations Québec (IPNQ). He is Huron-Wendat by his father and Innu by his mother. One of the most inspiring people I have had the chance to meet. He is incredibly dedicated to the economic development of Indigenous communities across Quebec, a more than necessary objective when we know that with economic development comes a significant reduction in the social issues specific to Indigenous communities. After several difficult and significant events during his childhood and adolescence, he decided to take charge to make a difference. He went for his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. At the age of 24, he became managing director of the IPNQ investment fund (for 20 years now), which invests in Aboriginal businesses. He does not count his hours and also does a lot of support with companies and communities to improve projects and companies. Its philosophy is also based on partnerships with non-Indigenous actors, in an effort of reconciliation. It makes room for them to go further together.
I would like to introduce you to Moéra Castonguay-Lafleur, young nutritionist and food safety manager at Accueil Bonneau in Montreal. In addition to actively campaigning for better regulations on food waste, Moéra is multiplying initiatives to tackle the food security of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Arrived during the pandemic in this community organization, Moéra has gradually transformed the meals distributed daily (nearly 150,000 per year) so that they are more balanced and nutritious while not forgetting vegetarians. For the residents of Accueil Bonneau, a community garden, collective kitchens and a grocery store were created this year. In this small grocery store, this nutritionist educates, provides advice and encourages residents to cook in order to eat well. Moéra could have worked in various for-profit organizations, but she decided to put her expertise and talent at the service of the most disadvantaged in Quebec. Thanks to Moéra, I have never seen so many men motivated to take themselves in hand by a desire for food autonomy.