Government of Canada Recognizes Dorimène Desjardins
for her National Historic Significance
Lévis, Quebec, October 14, 2016 - Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert (Quebec), on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today unveiled a commemorative plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) to recognize the national historic significance of Dorimène Desjardins.
A special ceremony was held at the Édifice Desjardins in Lévis, in the Québec City area. Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, Gilles Lehouillier, mayor of Lévis, members of the HSMBC and proud citizens were in attendance to mark this historical commemoration.
As a co-founder of the caisses populaires (credit unions), Dorimène Desjardins greatly contributed to the implementation of the first caisse founded in Lévis in 1900 with her husband Alphonse Desjardins. This committed and driven pioneer exerted her influence to ensure that the caisses populaires were developing in the direction her husband had put forward. She embodies the contributions of many women who, in the shadows, helped set up or run co-operatives or family businesses. This dedicated cooperator is still today recognized as a model of commitment within the Desjardins caisse movement.
As we near the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government invites Canadians to experience and learn more about our environment and our heritage. Canada's national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites enable Canadians to experience their heritage in a special way and will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.
"The Government of Canada is very pleased to commemorate the contribution of Dorimène Desjardins to Canadian history. This remarkable woman, whose strength, intelligence, ability and enterprising spirit is recognized, is praised for her dedication and commitment to social economy. She was actively engaged in the creation of what is today the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. We encourage Canadians to take the opportunity to learn more about this key figure and the significant role she played in our country's history."
Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert (Quebec)
"All of us at Desjardins welcome this public recognition of Dorimène Desjardins. The commemorative plaque, placed in front of the building that houses the Société historique Alphonse-Desjardins, is yet another testimony to this exceptional woman's contributions to the creation of our cooperative movement. We would like to thank Parks Canada for paying her this well-deserved tribute."
President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group
• With this designation, Dorimène Desjardins joins her illustrious husband, Alphonse, as a person of national historic significance. One of the great figures of the cooperative movement in Canada, Alphonse Desjardins was designated a national historic person in 1971.
• The Caisses Populaires hold a place of honour in the history of the cooperative movement in Canada. Founded in 1900, this model cooperative was among the earliest credit unions in Canada and it received a designation as a national historic event in 1984.
• Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the national historic importance of the sites, people and events that marked Canada's history.
Communications and Public Relations Officer
Quebec Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency
Parks Canada Agency