AMBM President, Mr. Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement on the occasion of the presentation of the Prix Boréal, Leadership category, to Louis Tétrault on June 3, 2021:
This spring, it was with great enthusiasm and pride that our association nominated Louis Tétrault in the Leadership category for the prestigious Prix Boréal awarded by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada.
As former Executive Director of the AMBM, Louis belongs to the category of larger-than-life Franco-Manitoban leaders and we are delighted that his extraordinary lifetime contribution to the Francophonie is being recognized and celebrated.
A proud Francophone Métis from La Broquerie, Louis Tétrault is a man of heart, a great builder, a visionary and a unifier. He has spent his life working tirelessly and facing adversity to build a better future for Francophone minorities.
In 1989, as a young father and entrepreneur, Louis Tétrault had the audacity to make a 180-degree turn and answer the call of the Francophonie. The epic battle of the 1980s between Francophones and Anglophones had left a deep impression on him and he chose to follow suit to pay tribute to the great Francophones who inspired him and to continue their work.
An enthusiastic and tireless volunteer, over the years he has taken on several roles that have been catalysts for social change for Manitoba’s OLMCs and, by extension, for Canada. He was the founding President of the Commission scolaire franco-manitobaine (1993), Chair of the Steering Committee of the États généraux de la francophonie manitobaine (2016-2018) and a member of the Province of Manitoba’s Francophone Affairs Advisory Committee, which created The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act.
Professionally, he was at the heart of the founding of the AMBM (1995), and then returned to the AMBM by taking over from Jean Beaumont as Executive Director in 2011. During his seven years at the helm of our association, Louis has definitely made his mark by multiplying and consolidating promising collaborations and by exercising a mobilizing leadership with our members and partners. One of Louis Tétrault’s greatest accomplishments with the AMBM was to avoid a predicted disaster in 2013, when a large number of rural municipalities in Manitoba were amalgamated. While many small AMBM member communities were forced to be assimilated into larger unilingual English-speaking municipalities, many predicted the disappearance of the majority of our members and even our association. Louis’s hard work, diplomacy and strategic know-how, led to a real tour de force.
Among other major projects that Louis Tétrault led with brilliance were the Visions Plans that he implemented while he was Director of Community Economic Development at our subsidiary, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM). This province-wide, high-profile initiative has created a significant boost in prosperity for our members and has been recognized and replicated by many other communities across Canada and internationally.
Louis was also the founding president of Eco-West Canada (EWC), the second subsidiary of the AMBM Group created in 2018. Louis was a visionary who convinced our members of the merits of making EWC a vehicle to support small and medium-sized municipalities across the country in planning and implementing their transition to a more environmentally responsible economy.
Louis, we thank you for all that you have done for our Francophone community in Manitoba and Canada, for all that you have accomplished on behalf of Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership, but most of all for the man of honour and commitment that you are.
There is no doubt that you are among the brightest stars of Francophone and Métis leadership, alongside the George Forests, the Raymond Poiriers, the Maria Chaputs and the Mariette Mulaires of this world.
There is no doubt that you have demonstrated that leadership can be exercised effectively by using the formidable tools of diplomacy, mediation and collaboration.
There is no doubt that you will have inspired many generations to come by the very important legacy you have built over the past 40 years.
Fortunately, you are still young and if you feel like it, we will be more than happy to continue to team up with you to build ever more prosperous, fulfilling and resilient communities.
Finally, we would like to thank the FCFA for the important recognition given to the great women and men of the Canadian Francophonie through the Prix Boréal. True living legacies, these individuals contribute significantly to shaping our modern Francophonie and to normalizing it within Canada, in a North American context.
The Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (AMBM) is the voice of bilingual municipal leadership in the province of Manitoba. It represents 15 local governments committed to providing services in both official languages to their citizens.
Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership is also at the helm of the AMBM Group, a consortium of three complementary organizations: the AMBM, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) and Eco-West Canada (EWC), which has specialized in the green economy since 2008. These three complementary organizations actively contribute to the development, vitality and sustainability of the province’s Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs), including the French-speaking Métis.
Information: Justin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, 204-289-4077, [email protected]