Meeting Mayor André Auger

Yesterday I had the good fortune of a chance meeting with Mayor André Auger of Ville de Saint-Lin-Laurentides.

Saint-Lin-Laurentides was created in March 2000 with the merger of the municipality of Saint-Lin (founded 1836 and first settled in 1807) and the city of Laurentides (founded 1883). The population now stands at more than 16,000 inhabitants.

The current mayor  will celebrate 40 years of political life in October 2011. The town is named in honour of St. Lin, who was the second Pope.

I met Mayor Auger quite by chance having stopped in at the local tourist office in search of a map and some tourist guides to the Lanaudiere region.  It was St. Jean Baptiste Day, also known as La Fete Nationale, and we were out for a rainy day drive toward the Laurentians.  On my way out of the quaint centre a distinguished, well dressed man extended his hand to welcome me and introduced himself as the mayor.

“Well, what a coincidence, I’m also municipally elected,” I responded in French as I shook his hand. Mayor Auger proudly told me about his lovely town and promptly invited me to his gala 40th anniversary dinner that will be held in his honour in the autumn. “40 years?  How many other mayors are there with such seniority in Quebec?” I asked with great interest.  “There’s just me,” Mayor Auger replied.

Home of Canada's seventh Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier

St. Lin is also made famous as Sir Wilfrid Laurier is a native son. He was the first francophone to become Prime Minister. He was also son of the first mayor of Saint-Lin, M. Carolus Laurier. Since 1938, the birthplace of Sir Wilfred Laurier has been a national historic site, open to visitors at 945, 12th Avenue.

Although my visit here was very short I noted  how lovely the town seemed, just a short distance from the Laurentian Autoroute.  The Rivière de l’Achigan (translates as Bass River) crosses the city. The park located in the heart of the village is a beautiful spot with several picnic tables and opportunities to cast off for fishing enthusiasts.

The mayor pointed out that the river is transformed in winter into a 2 kilometre skating rink along with a walking trail and cross-country skiing along the shores; in summer, boats fill the docks that are available for free.

I will definitely return to spend some relaxing time in this beautiful corner of Quebec.  Congratulations to Mayor Auger on this important anniversary year and Happy Fete St. Jean!

Bonne 40ieme anniversaire Maire André Auger