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Remembering Gisèle Lalonde

Today, Ottawa’s francophone community mourns the loss of one of its most prominent figures. It is with great sadness that I share the news of Gisèle Lalonde’s passing. My deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and all those who knew her.

Gisèle was a fierce advocate for education, social justice and the protection of Franco-Ontarian rights. Throughout her life, she demonstrated great acts of service to others — as a teacher, in public service and as an activist. In particular, she will always be remembered as the leader of the S.O.S. Montfort campaign, which saved the Montfort Hospital from closure. The francophone community — and indeed, all of Ottawa — has been deeply touched by her life’s work.

In 2000, Saint Paul University bestowed Gisèle with an honorary doctorate in recognition of her contributions. She remains a great inspiration for the work we do at the University. We will strive to honour her legacy by uplifting francophone youth, supporting French post-secondary education and building even more connections with francophone communities across Ontario.

Chantal Beauvais

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