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News Release - Canada and Manitoba

PRIX RONALD-DUHAMEL - RONALD DUHAMEL AWARD WINNER FOR 2017



STE. ANNE, MANITOBA, March 20, 2017 – The Prix Ronald-Duhamel – Ronald Duhamel Award was presented today to Nicole Champagne, former Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Ste. Anne, who is now retired. Ms. Champagne was recognized for her remarkable track record as part of which she contributed significantly, among other things, to normalizing municipal services in French for the benefit of the citizens of Ste. Anne.

As a passionate supporter of the Franco-Manitoban community’s development, Ms. Champagne set herself apart throughout her career as a municipal administrator from 2005 to 2016, by playing a key role in introducing French-language communication tools and official documents to the Town of Ste. Anne in order to reach the Francophone population. Not only did she make the planning and delivery of French-language services a priority to meet the needs of the community, she was also committed to creating a bilingual working environment that fostered greater use of French among municipal staff.

The Prix Ronald-Duhamel – Ronald Duhamel Award is a joint initiative of the Société franco-manitobaine (SFM), Manitoba’s Federal Network of Official Languages, the Manitoba Francophone Affairs Secretariat, and the Manitoba Association of Bilingual Municipalities (AMBM). It was created to recognize an employee or a group of employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body at the federal, provincial or municipal level for distinguished service to Manitoba’s Francophone community.

Officially launched in March 2005, the Award was named in honour of Ronald Duhamel and his significant contributions, first as a senior public servant in the Government of Manitoba and then as a federal MP, minister and senator. During his career, Mr. Duhamel did much to promote the cultural, educational, economic and political development of the Franco-Manitoban community. He also supported a number of minority Francophone community initiatives at the national level.

“Ms. Champagne is certainly an ambassador for Manitoba’s Francophone community,” commented Mr. Daniel Boucher, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Société franco-manitobaine. “Her efforts and perseverance have resulted in a bilingual working environment where Francophones and Anglophones complement each other, thereby providing to the town’s residents an office that is better equipped to meet the needs of its clientele.”

Ms. Brigitte Gibson, Regional Director General, Prairies and Northern Region, Department of Canadian Heritage, recognized Ms. Champagne’s contribution to the vitality of Canada’s official language minority communities. “Our two official languages are an important component of our national identity. Manitoba’s Francophone community continues to thrive thanks to devoted individuals like Ms. Champagne, who are dedicated to supporting and ensuring access to French-language services.”

Ms. Teresa Collins, Executive Director of the Francophone Affairs Secretariat, warmly congratulated the recipient. “Ms. Champagne deserves all the praise she has received. Thanks to her ongoing efforts, she has created a model for the normalization of French and active offer that the Town of Ste. Anne can implement in the years to come.”

Mr. Louis Tétrault, Executive Director of the AMBM, commented that, “Ms. Champagne always ensured that the services and tools made available by the Town of Ste. Anne in French and English were on an equal footing, despite the fact that the municipal government operates in a predominantly Anglophone environment.”

Members of the general public and public sector employees at the federal, provincial and municipal level were invited to submit nominations for the Prix Ronald-Duhamel – Ronald Duhamel Award by January 31, 2017.

The award ceremony was held in the Bilingual Service Centre – Seine River Region, as part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. This is the seventh time the Award has been presented since its creation.

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The Province of Manitoba is issuing this release on behalf of the governments of Canada and Manitoba, the Manitoba Association of Bilingual Municipalities and the the Société franco-manitobaine.