Long-serving Mayor of Callander, Ontario and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Citizen Hector “Hec” Lavigne has died.

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Lavigne entered politics as Reeve of Callander in December of 2000. He sat and chaired numerous local and regional boards and committees while maintaining full-time employment in the insurance industry as a Commercial Lines Account Manager with the Rivet Insurance brokerage firm.

Lavigne was a proud Métis who served on the board of directors of the Métis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF) since the MNO initiated its formation in 2011. The MVDF is an independent Métis-owned and controlled agency that provides funding and support for Métis businesses.

“The Board and Staff of MVDF greatly regret the passing of Mr. Hector Lavigne, who served as Treasurer for the past eight years,” said MVDF CEO Steven Morse, “Hec brought passion and professionalism to the Board, expressed in his characteristic no nonsense style. He cared deeply for the promotion of Métis rights and self-reliance; Hec was integral to our success. Most of all we will miss his laughter, his counsel, his exuberance, and the presence of a good man.”

In a release, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality of Callander Mike Purcell said the positive impact Lavigne had on the residents of the small town on the shores of Lake Nipissing means he will be missed. “Members of Council, staff, and residents are deeply saddened by the terrible news,” said Purcell.

MPP Vic Fedeli, whose riding covers Callander, says Lavigne put a lot of pride in the town and in his Métis heritage. “He was a proud Métis and served on one of the Métis funding agencies and his goal was to bring additional funding that is available nationally into the Nipissing area. He worked very, very hard on that and I don’t think anybody really realized that,” said Fedeli.

Lavigne is survived by his wife Lynne and his three children Nathan (Jaimie), Christopher (Celeste) and Kevin (Lindsay). The family plans to continue one of Hec’s nearest and dearest projects: the beautification of Centennial Park in Callander. Donations to the “Hec Lavigne Centennial Park Beautification Project” would be greatly appreciated and will be accepted at the RBC Branch at 5 Main Street in Callander, Ontario.

Lavigne’s funeral was held on January 12, 2020 but online condolences can still be made on the McGuinty Funeral Home website.

Posted on January 16, 2020