Brother Bertrand Fortin

April 2009

Brother Bertrand Fortin has devoted his entire life to serving others. He developed his original way of mobilizing people in the community, providing them with the necessary tools to empower themselves, and encouraging volunteering in concrete projects during the 1940s at Patro Le Prevost, and he has been practising it without interruption ever since.

During the 1980s, ever sensitive to the new realities in the Villeray neighbourhood, Brother Fortin recognized that the population he served was aging. In 1983, to help seniors continue living at home, he participated in the establishment of one of the first Meals-on-Wheels in Montreal. He avoids forms of charity which fail to involve the people being helped. Brother Fortin believes that people should become actively involved in their local community in order to help others in turn. In 1986, this philosophy led him to establish the first “magasin-partage” temporary store in Montreal, drawing inspiration from a concept created in Quebec.

Brother Bertrand Fortin has contributed to the wellbeing and mobilization of several generations of Montrealers. Not only has he set up initiatives to improve their living conditions, he has also encouraged them to become aware of the realities around them and to get involved as volunteers on a long term basis. Today, Brother Fortin still delivers Meal-on-Wheels twice a week. Recently, he created a friendly telephone call and visiting service to break the isolation of vulnerable people living alone.

Centraide has supported Patro Le Prevost since 1974.