PONTIAC May 15 2020
On Friday, long-time local politician and former MRC Pontiac Warden Raymond Durocher passed away at home at the age of 62. He leaves behind his wife, two children and three grandchildren (with a fourth on the way).
In addition to politics, Durocher served as an ambulance supervisor, registered nurses assistant and paramedic in the region.
He was first elected to Fort Coulonge municipal council’s seat four in 1991. After two terms as a councillor, Durocher took a run at the mayor’s seat and won in a landslide victory in the ‘99 election, taking 785 votes of the 1,052 cast (roughly 75 per cent).
He told THE EQUITY at the time that he was ready to work with citizen on the issues and encouraged the public’s participation in politics.
“We want people to come out to the meetings,” he is quoted as saying in the Nov. 10, 1999 edition of the paper. “We make decisions as a council, but we work with the people and their ideas.”
He remained at the helm of his municipality for 15 years, while also taking on additional duties as the pro-warden of the MRC in 2009 and warden in 2013.
He left his post as mayor in 2017 to run for the position of warden, the first time the position was decided by universal suffrage rather than a vote among the mayors, and placed second behind current Warden Jane Toller.
After leaving politics, Durcher went to work as the site manager for the Pontiac Sorting Centre in Litchfield.
Toller expressed condolences to Durocher’s family on behalf of the regional council in a message posted to the MRC’s website, stating “Raymond has served the Pontiac well in so many ways and he will be greatly missed.”
Pontiac MNA André Fortin posted a heartfelt message on social media following the news of Durocher’s passing.
He recalled one meeting in particular, the first time they met following Fortin’s election to the National Assembly.
“You were warden of the MRC and when I walked in your office, you had a pile of documents as tall as yourself to hand over. All of them “priority” files...,” he wrote. “Throughout the years, we worked together, we collaborated, we fought (more than once), we laughed, we set a few traps for unsuspecting Ministers. More than anyone, you knew your files and every detail of government programs. In fact, it always seemed like you knew them before they even came out. You can be proud of your work.”
He also noted that Durocher took the time to chat and have a laugh with Fortin’s wife and children whenever they met.
“You didn’t have to. You just did,” he wrote. “Thank you for that. It speaks volumes about who you are, about your values. Goodbye my friend. I’ll miss you.”
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