Videotron founder André Chagnon dies aged 94
André Chagnon founded Videotron.
Businessman and philanthropist André Chagnon, who notably founded Videotron in 1964, died at the age of 94, his family announced on Saturday.
Speaking in a statement, Mr. Chagnon's family did not specify the cause of death, limiting themselves to saying that he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
The last years of the life of this man, born in Montreal in 1928, were devoted to the foundation he had set up with his wife Lucie in 2000.
The couple had then decided to devote the money from the sale of Videotron to the fight against poverty by focusing on the education of children.
The Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation is now #x27;now one of the most important of its kind in Canada.
One might wonder whether André Chagnon foresaw such a destiny when he answered calls from his clients in quest for an electrician in the 1960s.
At that time, the entrepreneur took care of the electric wires, but he also installed cables for cable television distributors.
He saw a vein in it, an important vein since ;he liquidated his company to buy, in 1964, Ahuntsic Télécommunications, a small cable distributor which served some sixty subscribers in Laval.
This was the beginning of Vidéotron Ltée.
TVA CEO André Chagnon with company president Daniel Lamarre, December 13, 1999.
It was however in 1980, when André Chagnon got his hands on Câblevision Nationale thanks to the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ), that the company establishes itself as Groupe Videotron.
In 1986, the wave encompassed Télé-Métropole, the first private television channel in Quebec, which would become TVA.
This was followed by the inauguration of the Superclub Videotron stores and the creation in 1990 of Videoway, the first interactive TV system in North America.
“Cable soon became the Trojan horse for him to build a telecommunications empire. »
— Henri-Paul Rousseau, associate professor at HEC Montréal, in a tribute interview with the Cercle des grands entrepreneurs du Québec
The former President and CEO of CDPQ believes that André will be remembered as someone who changed the world of telecoms.
To more than one title, since in 1994 he created the UBI (universality, bidirectionality and interactivity) consortium for the development of what was then called the #x27;information.
André Chagnon with his son Claude during a CRTC hearing held on December 2, 1996 in Montreal.
After spending more than 40 years of his life in business, André Chagnon sold Videotron to Quebecor in 2000.
The Chagnon decided to invest more than a billion dollars in a private foundation.
The objective, as explained by its founder, is to reduce poverty by focusing on health and education.
School success is x27;is having more healthy citizens, a reduction in school dropouts, allowing people to have better jobs, better incomes, having less poverty and citizens who take themselves in hand, he said.
The man was not in his first philanthropic steps, since he was also involved with the organization Portage, which helps drug addicts.
As a businessman as well as a philanthropist, André Chagnon has received numerous awards.
Great Montrealer, Commander of the Order of Montreal, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2005. He was an Officer of the National Order of Quebec and of the Order of Canada.
In 2015, the National Assembly awarded him the medal of honor, as well as his wife, posthumously. Lucie Chagnon, née Dolan, died in 2014.
They had been married for 65 years.
“Lucie has been an essential and indispensable partner for all the journey I have made in life. She trusted me. Maybe she wasn't wrong. »
— André Chagnon
The reactions quickly arrived on social networks at the announcement of the death of Mr. Chagnon. The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, notably highlighted the departure of a “brilliant and visionary man”.
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Pierre Karl Péladeau spoke about an innovative and go-getter man.
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Dominique Anglade, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, also offered her condolences to the family on Twitter. “Today we lose a true monument,” it read. “Mr. Chagnon was a great man involved in many charities and founder of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation. Thank you Mr. Chagnon. “
“The entire CIUSSS de l'Estrie community is saddened to learn of the death of Mr. André Chagnon,” wrote Dr. Stéphane Tremblay, CEO of the CIUSSS de l'Estrie. Estrie. “We will remember this philanthropist who had the development of Quebec youth deeply at heart. “
“Even today, the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation contributes to the educational success of our young people, from early childhood to adulthood, and to the improvement of the quality of families in our territory by partnering with the Sherbrooke Community Development Initiative. We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones and family. »