Home Speakers: Colette Roy Laroche

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Ex-mayor of Lac-Mégantic

A high achiever with a strong sense of commitment, Colette Roy Laroche was elected First Mayor of Lac-Mégantic in 2002. After thirteen years as mayor during three consecutive terms, she retired in November 2015. Her leadership was reaffirmed following the train tragedy that struck her municipality on July 6, 2013. Thanks to her very human approach to managing the situation, she has given new meaning to the notion of public service.

During her years in municipal politics, she was on the board of directors of the Union des municipalités du Québec, the École nationale des pompiers and the Corporation des Fleurons du Québec.

A graduate of the Faculty of Education, Colette Roy Laroche worked for 37 years in education at the Lac Mégantic and Hauts-Cantons School Board, first as a teacher, and then as an educational advisor, director of educational services and finally as director general.

During her many years in the school system, she contributed to several projects promoting student retention and academic achievement, including the establishment of the first Rural Family House in North America and a Center for Collegial Studies in Lac-Mégantic.

Throughout her professional career, she has been involved with several organizations; she was a member of the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation, President of the Table de formation professionnelle in the Eastern Townships, a member of the Assemblée des membres of the University of Sherbrooke and Chairman of the board of the Cégep Beauce-Appalaches.

Ms. Roy Laroche has received numerous decorations and awards for her exemplary management of the tragedy of July 6, 2013. She received the title of Knight of the Ordre national du Québec (2014); she was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross of the Governor General of Canada (2014) and the Medal of the Lieutenant Governor General of Quebec (2014).

She also received the Modern Makers of Canada Award from the Institute on Governance (2016), the Personnalités de confiance Award from the Institut de la confiance dans les organisations (2013), the Award of Excellence from The Canadian Public Relations Society (2015), an Honourable Mention from the Canadian Red Cross (2015), an Honourable Mention with Merit from the Agence de presse Médiamosaïque (2014), the Francine-Ruest-Jutras Award from the Union des municipalités du Québec (2013), the Jean-Marie-Moreau Award from the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (2013), the Ambassador Award from the University of Sherbrooke, Faculty of Education (2014), the Roll of Honour from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (2014) and the Mérite estrien from La Tribune Sherbrooke (2002 and 2013).

She also received the Bronze Medal of the Ordre du Mérite scolaire of the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec in 1998.
She was married to Yvan Laroche, who passed away in 2015, and is the mother of three children.