The source of my political engagement and community activism has always been a strong desire to fight for social justice and the rights of all citizens. I truly believe that these aims can be accomplished through solidarity, fraternity and the belief in a better world.
I was born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and raised alongside my brother Nicolas, by my father Jacques and my mother Lorraine. It was a happy childhood filled with much laughter and excitement.
At the age of fifteen I started working as a lifeguard for the local municipality. I continued in this capacity for several years, eventually adding the responsibilities of pool manager and lifesavings instructor to my resume. During this time I was also an active swimmer competing for the Haut-Richelieu swimming club. To this day, many of my fondest sporting memories come from my time spent there.
Following CGEP, I decided to move to Montreal in order to pursue a B.A. in sociology from the University of Montreal. After graduation, I studied Political Science at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) and obtained a Master`s Degree from McGill University.
Once my studies were completed, I was hired on as a journalist and editor for the newly-launched TCN information network. Soon after, I left TCN to work for the news channel TVA. It was at TVA where I first began to get involved with unions and organised labour, an incredible experience which permitted me the opportunity to defend the rights and working conditions of my colleagues in the journalistic profession.
Taking a liking to social engagement, I left TVA to go and work for the Union des travailleurs et travailleuses accidents de Montreal (UTTAM). For nearly a year, I came to the aid of workers fighting for their basic rights and freedoms. These were often very personal struggles for those involved, as UTTAM workers, mostly impoverished immigrants, fought over the likes of accident compensation and proper health coverage.
Subsequently, a service position at the Canadian Union of Public Employees opened and I jumped at the chance to become involved. Two weeks after starting with CUPE, the Videotron strike of 2002-2003 began and I was called to action immediately. This marked the beginning of several exciting years for me at the largest union in the country. At CUPE, I had the pleasure of working with some truly amazing people.
Since the late 1990`s I have been a contributing member of the New Democratic Party and a committed party activist. I first ran as a candidate for Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie in the 2008 Federal election and was able to obtain more than 8500 votes. Following the election, I became the NDP`s Vice-President of Communications, Quebec under the direction of Francoise Boivin.
The end of this story, of course, is well known. In 2011 with Jack, we created an orange wave of support in Quebec and elected an incredible number of new NDP M.P`s. Thanks to this tremendous electoral success I am now confident that we will be ready to replace the Harper Conservatives in the next federal election, and create the first federal NDP government in our country`s history.
Because as Jack always said, "Don`t let anyone tell you it cannot be done".