Vaudreuil-Dorion hires new permanent firefighters and pays tribute to Paul Gérin-Lajoie

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The Centre de formation professionelle Paul Gérin-Lajoie at the Cité-des-Jeunes educational campus in Vaudreuil-Dorion on July 4. City council adopted a resolution at the Monday evening council meeting to fly its municipal flag at half-mast to pay tribute to the former provincial education minister, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and resident who died on June 25 at age 98.

Vaudreuil-Dorion adopted two resolutions to hire 13 more permanent firefighters to ensure the city will be able to quickly respond to emergency situations overnight and on weekends. With almost 40,000 residents and an array of multi-storey buildings, condos, townhouses, commercial malls and industrial structures, the city is required to maintain a permanent firefighting staff 24 hours a day.

The city will also initiate its first responder service in September. “Having a permanent firefighting staff will enable first responders to be dispatched immediately. They will assess and stabilize the situation upon arrival,” said Mayor Guy Pilon.

Tribute for Paul Gérin-Lajoie

Council approved a resolution to fly its municipal flag at half-mast in honour of Paul Gérin-Lajoie who died on June 25 at age 98. A long-time resident of Vaudreuil, Gérin-Lajoie served for three terms as Liberal Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Vaudreuil-Soulanges from 1960 until 1970.

Gérin-Lajoie was appointed in 1964 as the first Minister of Education in Quebec since 1875. He is credited for introducing the polyvalente education system and creating the first school –Polyvalente Cité-des-Jeunes de Vaudreuil – a secondary school that offers vocational training in addition to general training.

‘A very special man’

The project was initiated in 1961 and the school was inaugurated in May 1964. The original school was upgraded and renamed Centre de formation professionelle Paul Gérin-Lajoie as part of an expanded Cité-des-Jeunes campus that houses other facilities. The road around the campus and the park along Vaudreuil Bay directly across the campus on Avenue St. Charles were also renamed about two years ago to honour Gérin-Lajoie.

“This is a very special man. He bought the land with his own money to build the school because he believed in his project so much. The government bought it back when they saw how successful it was. I went to school with one of his sons,” recalled Mayor Pilon. The city’s flag will continue to fly at half-mast until Gérin-Lajoie’s state funeral is held in Montreal on August 9.

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