ANOTHER VICTIM CRYING OUT FOR ATTENTION: I WILL BLAME IT ON THE PESTICIDE EXPOSURE, BUT I HAVE NO PROOF. PLEASE BELIEVE ME.
Now he wants to use his skills as a fearmongerer to help Montreal become a better place. A word of advice for Jean-Dominic, Shave your head and say the cancer is back. You will win by a landslide.
“In 1994, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a lymphoma cancer. After doing research, he was able to locate the cause of his disease, the use of pesticides in his environment. He then embarked on a political crusade against the use of pesticides in Canada, visiting a different city council every month for many years, telling his story and lobbying for changes in regulations regarding pesticides.”
Published on August 13th, 2010
Projet Montréal has announced today the identity of its candidate for the Ste. Geneviève byelection. Twenty six year old political science student Jean-Dominic Lévesque René will be their man in the September 26 vote.
Although still young, he has been involved in politics for a long time now. In 1994, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a lymphoma cancer. After doing research, he was able to locate the cause of his disease, the use of pesticides in his environment. He then embarked on a political crusade against the use of pesticides in Canada, visiting a different city council every month for many years, telling his story and lobbying for changes in regulations regarding pesticides.
Lévesque René was instrumental in creating the ban on many pesticides in Montreal as well as in the adoption of the Pesticide Management Code of Quebec in 2003 according to Projet Montréal spokesperson Caroline Lavergne. Lévesque René has received praise from Projet Montréal leader Richard Bergeron lately.
“Not even having reached his thirtieth birthday, Jean-Dominic has already profoundly influenced our quality of life,” expressed Richard Bergeron in a press release. “Jean-Dominic now wants to put his experience and tenacity at the service of his fellow citizens in St. Geneviève. I am convinced that the voters in the district will be persuaded by the energy of this young man of great achievement,” he said.
Lévesque René was rewarded with many prizes for his environmental efforts including the Global 500 prize awarded by the environment program of the United Nations.
He would focus on three main objectives were he elected. First off, he wants to bring businesses back in the Ste. Geneviève village, as he feels too many commercial spaces have been deserted in front of the Gérald Godin Cégep. Lévesque René hopes he can persuade the West Island Chamber of Commerce to help him bring that sector back to life.
He also wants to augment security at the corner of Jacques Bizard Street and Gouin Boulevard in front of the Vent de l’Ouest retirement home.
“People there need to be able to cross the street in a safer manner because right now there is no pedestrian crossing light. It isn’t safe for pedestrians and these are precisely the people that put life in Ste. Geneviève,” he said.
Lévesque René’s third priority is to re-open the municipal library that was closed at the end of June. He plans to do that in partnership with the Gérald Godin Cégep.
“My three priorities may seem like little issues, but when small issues add up, the impact on the population is important,” said Lévesque René.
The two other candidates have in the meantime begun campaigning. Union Montréal candidate Philippe Voisard has started distributing pamphlets and going door-to-door last Tuesday. He recently promised his party would be more visible than in the last election. As for independent candidate Éric Dugas, he has distributed postal cards to Ste. Geneviève residents to allow them to express how they feel about the services offered by the borough.
During the course of his life, Jean-Dominic Levesque-Rene has seen his share of battles, first with his own cancer and then on another front, as a one-kid environmental crusade. At the age of 10, Jean-Dominic began his fight to ban the use of pesticides, at the same time he started chemotherapy treatment for a cancer of the immune system. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer he believes was caused as a result of early childhood exposure to pesticides.
He grew up in Ile Bizard, Quebec, where golf courses make up about half of the town’s landmass. Keeping the fairways immaculate requires the use of a huge quantity of pesticides. He organized a group of children and picketed City Hall demanding a ban on pesticides. He has worked tirelessly by lobbying various levels of government through petitions (he received 4,000 letters and gathered 15,000 signatures), letter writing, briefings, speeches and conferences. His actions have generated tremendous awareness about environmental and human health hazards of pesticide use, especially its effects on children’s health.
“I am 100-per-cent sure that pesticides gave me cancer. They made me sick when I was young and they continue to make me sick,” said Levesque-Rene, who still lives on Ile Bizard, just off Montreal Island.
“Each spring when people spray, I get stomachaches, I get very tired, I get headaches. I know it’s related to that.”