Sunday, May 19, 2024

Godspeed, Maurice

The passing of Maurice Beauregard is a difficult loss for Campbell’s Bay and the whole Pontiac.

First as a firefighter, then a town councillor and finally as mayor of Campbell’s Bay, Beauregard has long been committed to public service. Widely regarded as an effective and well-liked mayor, he won last year's municipal election unopposed.

His work in rebuilding the park along Front Street, named in his honour, stands as but one among his many efforts to revitalize Campbell’s Bay that form part of the legacy of someone who, despite a relatively short time in office, got tangible results under difficult economic conditions.

He spoke frequently of the need for transparency in local government and lived those principles through his open and candid disposition towards the media and the greater public. He was one of the most outspoken mayors at the MRC Pontiac council where, as often the only voice of dissent, he provided a refreshing expression of democracy in a setting that too often seems like a rubber stamping of decisions made out of public view.

Among his many efforts at the MRC level were his contributions to the Forestry Committee which bore fruit with the announcement of the reopening of the mill in Rapides-des-Joachims just before his passing last week.

Maurice Beauregard was only 43 when he succumbed to cancer, and it all happened within a matter of months. It is a story all too common to families in the Pontiac where so many of us have had our lives deeply affected by the disease.

According to a 2021 report issued collaboratively by the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, cancer remains the leading cause of death in Canada. An estimated two-in-five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of which about one-in-four will die from it.

Beauregard’s passing stands as yet another call to action to do all that is possible not only to find more effective treatments and cures, but also means of preventing the occurrence of cancer in the first place, wherever that may lead us, be it to diet, lifestyle, environmental contaminants, economic activity or other factors. As a society, we could be doing a lot more to ensure that the tragedy of losing a loved one to cancer becomes far rarer.

The public turnout to benefits held for Beauregard and his family while he was still with us, and to ceremonies that marked his passing, are testimony to his importance to the community and to his legacy. His record and reputation will stand as a model for current and future civic leaders.

Among the many tributes to his memory, perhaps there can be none greater than the commitment to strive to uphold the values of which he was so great an example. The future of the Pontiac would easily be secured if we all matched his commitment to service, leadership and transparency.

However great the loss felt across the wider community over the passing of Maurice Beauregard, none can compare to that felt by his young family, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.

And to Maurice, Godspeed


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