Remi Bertrand has spent most of his life in Fort Colounge, though you wouldn’t know it based on his resume.
After going to college and receiving a degree in business administration, he spent the early part of his career working at the pulp and paper mill in Portage du Fort. He started as a labourer and “worked his way up the ladder” to health and safety manager and then eventually to division auditor for the mill’s parent company Smurfit-Stone Container. Division auditor was a huge responsibility that would take him all over North America. He was in charge of auditing 237 facilities across the continent, flying in and out of cities auditing operations for safety, efficiency and procedure. He had a young family at the time, so Portage du Fort became his home base where he worked between trips to different cities.
Even when he was young, his aspirations always included staying in Fort Colounge. He originally wanted to teach physics at the high school. “Back then I wasn’t overly interested in moving into the city. My dad was one of the old lumberjacks that did the log-drive. He’s [still] a hunter, fisher and trapper at 82,” he said.
Bertrand, like his father, maintains a trapline in a 20 square kilometre patch of the Pontiac.
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