MONTREAL, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Heavy Machinery Training Project for the Haitian Diaspora living in Quebec was unveiled today. The press briefing, which was held at the the former Francon quarry in St-Michel, was attended by Michel Adrien, the Mayor of Mont-Laurier; Emmanuel Dubourg, MNA - Viau; Frank Venneri, Deputy Mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension and City Councillor - François-Perrault; Frantz Benjamin, City Councillor - Saint-Michel; Normand Bélanger, Executive Director of the Commission Scolaire Pierre-Neveu; Martine Loignon, President of the Commission Scolaire Pierre-Neveu; Sylvain Tremblay, Director of the Commission Scolaire Pierre-Neveu; Ian Bellavance, Professor at the Centre de Formation Professionnelle de Mont-Laurier; as well as other guests of honour.
The training project has given 30 Montrealers, all members of the Haitian Diaspora, an opportunity to receive specialized training, required to become licensed operators of heavy machinery. The students were quite proud to have had the chance to showcase their skills to members of the press.
Expertise as Assistance
"Following the earthquake of this past January, I pondered the role that our institution could play in bringing relief to Haiti," declared Mr. Tremblay. "I found that the majority of the wreckage I had seen in the media was tied to masonry in some way. As such, the use of heavy machinery would first be needed to help clear the rubble. I figured that, in addition to the Centre de Formation Professionnelle de Mont-Laurier's solid foundation of expertise and many decades of existence, we would need to bring in Haitians of the Diaspora to fully succeed in the reconstruction efforts."
To ensure the success of his mission, Mr. Tremblay easily found allies among his peers at the Commission Scolaire Pierre-Neveu. "What spoke to me the most from the beginning was that it's a mission of hope, yet an equally attainable, concrete, and short term plan that would give Quebecers of Haitian origin a chance to acquire the necessary skills needed to contribute to the reconstruction of their motherland. It would also ensure a viable career for their lives right here at home," added Mr. Adrien.
From Mont-Laurier to Montreal
Since Montreal is home to the largest Haitian community in the province, the Mayor of Mont-Laurier, of Haitian heritage himself, acknowledged that the project should be set in Montreal to fully succeed. It was due to involvement from the City of Montreal, the borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension, and other partners that fully brought the project to fruition. Participation from all the partners in regard to the fate of Haiti is testament to the level of concern found in Quebec. "The borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension is proud to have offered its services in regard to the training of these young operators of heavy machinery. The St-Michel quarry proved to be an opportune setting. We are delighted by the success of the training and are certain that the students will put their skills to good use," affirmed Mr. Venneri.
Elected Officials in ACTION
The project was largely made possible due to the participation of elected officials who care deeply for Haiti, the country of their origin. Mr. Dubourg revealed: "I am pleased to attest to the fact that the first discussions among partners of the project were held at my office in St-Michel. It was there that various Quebec elected officials of Haitian origin shook hands to initiate the project. Is this not proof enough that we can indeed contribute to the reconstruction of our homeland?" For his part, Mr. Benjamin admitted he was quite pleased that the project took flight in St-Michel with the support of the borough's officers and services. "Montreal is known for a dedication toward Haiti and its capital city. Therefore, the borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension is proud to have contributed to the success of such a promising project," he explained.
Diaspora in ACTION
This initiative can only help to raise awareness of the Haitian Diaspora in Montreal and their role in the reconstruction and overall future of Haiti. On February 11, 2010, the students will complete their training, following an intensive four-month sacrifice. After all, they will be ready to actively participate in the much sought after reconstruction in Haiti.
"We hope that this project, this mission of hope, will help to raise the spirits of the Haitian people. Our students are being sent to the rescue and are a symbol of strength in action," affirmed Mr. Tremblay.
The ultimate chapter of this adventure remains that governments and companies from Quebec and Canada operating in Haiti need to be further convinced to support and make use of the skills of these students, as well as their intimate knowledge of the language and love for Haiti.
Partnership in ACTION
The Centre de Formation Professionnelle de Mont-Laurier wishes to thank: the Pierre-Neveu School Board, the City of Mont-Laurier, the City of Montreal, the borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension, the Centre de Formation en Transport Routier (CFTR) de Saint-Jérôme, Équipement SMS (Komatsu), Service Forestier de Mont-Laurier, CIDHICA and Frantz Voltaire, the City of Montreal-North and Monica Ricourt, CPAM and Jean-Ernest Pierre, Perle Retrouvée and Nicola Saintano, TOHU and Lynda Sylvain, the Association des Ingénieurs et Scientifiques Haïtianno-Canadiens and Garoute Blanc, Alliance Théâtrale Haïtienne, Centre de Loisirs René-Goupil, Maison d'Haïti, CUMAJ, Maison Culturelle et Communautaire de Montréal-Nord, Café-Jeunesse Multiculturel, the Centre de la Famille Haïtienne et Interculturel de Rivière-des-Prairies, Nou Pap Bay Vag, Dice B and Raymond Laurent.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: Photos accompanying this release are also available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
For further information:
English Media Liaison:
Alex Nitsiou 514-443-3731
For more information, please visit: