Jacques Coté honoured in the House of Commons: A life of service deserves recognition – Hughes

OTTAWA – To say that Jacques Coté provides an example of how one person can have a profound effect on a community might be a bit of an understatement. The Naval veteran has been a pillar of the community since retiring to Hearst in 1979, according to MP Carol Hughes who paid tribute to Mr Coté in the House of Commons Monday.

After 35 years in the armed forces – including his time as a Lt. Commander on the HMCS Restigouche during the Second World War, the native of Quebec City relocated to Hearst and immediately set about to make that town his own.

“Mr. Coté, did not come to Hearst to take it easy,” said Hughes in her statement. “His time has been spent working for the community, in an official capacity as the town’s administrator from 1979 – 1986, and through countless hours of volunteer work.”

Through that work, Mr. Coté noticed the difficulties many seniors were encountering and came up with an idea for a way that he could help. He approached the municipality in mid 90s to see if they would consider creating a Senior’s Ombudsman position. Wisely, the council took him up on his offer and he has been in the position until just recently.

“Given a mandate to look after the interests of seniors, especially the most vulnerable, Mr. Cote has defined the position of Senior’s Ombudsman for the people of Hearst,” said Hughes.

With all the success Mr. Coté has had in his position, it is amazing that he has been the only person to fill such a role in Northern Ontario. His example has shown how effective the role of a Senior’s Ombudsman can be for any community.

Mr. Coté has been forced to step down recently due to health problems, but there is little doubt that he has changed Hearst for the better

“His life has been defined by service to his country and his community. Jacques Coté has made a significant contribution to the lives of many and has shown us that we can all strive to make a difference,” concluded Hughes.