Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 22, 2013 16:48 ET

Minister Bernard Valcourt Congratulates Alfreda Berube on Receiving Prime Minister's Volunteer Award

SAINTE-ANNE-DE-MADAWASKA, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2013) - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, congratulates Alfreda Bérubé, who is among the first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards (PMVA). Ms. Bérubé selected L'Éclosion centre to receive a one-time grant from the Harper Government. Absent at the ceremony, Minister Valcourt wished to highlight the community involvement of Ms. Bérubé.

"I am immensely proud to congratulate Alfreda Bérubé on receiving a Prime Minister's Volunteer Award for Community Leader in the Atlantic region. Volunteerism is an important part of what makes Canada such a great country," said Minister Valcourt. "If you know of another individual, a business or an organization that deserves a Prime Minister's Volunteer Award, there is still time to nominate them. The current call for nominations is open until April 15, 2013."

Ms. Bérubé has demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm and determination in defending the rights of people with disabilities in the Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska area and across New Brunswick. In 1989, she became the founding director of L'Éclosion, a not-for-profit organization promoting the social inclusion of people with disabilities.

Ms. Bérubé also established a school of arts and music, LA FABÉMA, which led to the creation of an annual show performed by people with disabilities from the area and by guest artists. Proceeds from the show are used to fund special activities for people with disabilities.

As part of their recognition package, each regional PMVA award recipient identified an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a one-time grant of $5,000. Ms. Bérubé selected L'Éclosion to receive the grant. L'Éclosion provides training and employment assistance to people with disabilities, in particular to help young adults make the transition from school to the labour market. They also organize educational, cultural, social and religious activities.

The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards recognize the exceptional contributions of volunteers-including individuals, businesses and not-for-profits organizations-whose outstanding leadership has strengthened the well-being of their communities. The first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were recognized at an award ceremony held on December 14, 2012 in Ottawa.

The award recipients were selected through a three-step process that consisted of eligibility screening, a regional review and recommendation by a national advisory committee.

Almost half of all Canadians (47 percent) volunteer their time, energy and skills to benefit their communities. The replacement value of their work is estimated to be around $14 billion, or the equivalent of nearly 1.1 million full-time jobs. Volunteers are crucial to Canada's not-for-profit sector, which includes 161 000 registered charities and not-for-profit organizations.

Businesses contribute to their communities in many ways, as well. For example, in 2010, over half of employees who volunteered said they had received support to do so from their employer.

For more information about the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, including past award recipients and the current call for nominations, visit or

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

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Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards

The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the enormous contribution that volunteers make to Canada. The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were created as a way to annually recognize those who make exceptional voluntary contributions, including individuals, not-for-profit organizations and businesses.

The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards in total.

There are 15 regional awards-three for each of five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia and the North):

  • Community Leader recognizes individual volunteers or groups of volunteers who have taken a lead role in developing solutions to local challenges.
  • Business Leader recognizes businesses that demonstrate social responsibility in their business practices.
  • Social Innovator recognizes not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate innovation in addressing social challenges.

There are also two national awards:

  • Emerging Leader recognizes new volunteers who help build stronger communities through leadership, and who have made a positive difference in their community in a short period of time. This award is for those who have volunteered for no more than three years.
  • Lifelong Achievement recognizes individuals who have dedicated their lives to volunteering and who have inspired other volunteers, led volunteer groups or made other exceptional achievements through volunteering. This award is for those who have volunteered for a period of at least 20 years.

The following are the inaugural recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards.

Regional award recipients:

  • Community Leader-Ashid Bahl (Prairies), Alfreda Bérubé (Atlantic), Richard Busque (Quebec), Rich Goulet (British Columbia and the North) and Dr. Rick Irvin (Ontario).
  • Business Leader-Caisse populaire de Clare (Atlantic), Canadian Pacific Holiday Train (Prairies), Savoie & Savoie, avocats (Quebec), TELUS (British Columbia and the North) and Ziebarth Electrical Contractors Ltd. (Ontario).
  • Social Innovator-Child Development Institute SNAP (Stop Now And Plan) model (Ontario), Exploits Valley Community Coalition (Atlantic), Go le Grand Défi Inc. (Quebec), Ilisaqsivik Society (British Columbia and the North) and the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation (Prairies).

National award recipients:

  • Lifelong Achievement-Randy Fowler (Calgary, Alberta).
  • Emerging Leader-Timea E. Nagy (Hamilton, Ontario).

These inaugural award winners were announced on December 14, 2012. More information about the recipients and the call for nominations can be found at

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada