Visionary entrepreneur: Cascades Cofounder Bernard Lemaire passes

Cascades has announced the death of Bernard Lemaire, 87, a Cofounder of the company.

Born in Drummondville, Québec in 1936, un 1960 Lemaire joined the family business of waste recovery, Drummond Pulp and Fibre.

Four years later and with the support of his brothers Laurent and Alain, a second life was given to the disused Dominion Paper Co. mill in Kingsey Falls.

He then laid the foundation for Cascades, where for nearly 30 years he was president.

Lemaire was also involved in the founding of Boralex, a Québec flagship company that produces renewable wind, solar, hydroelectric and thermal energy in Canada, France and the United States.

His brothers Laurent and Alain said: “Bernard was an exceptional man, a larger-than-life character.

“Visionary, generous and charismatic, he convinced countless people and communities to participate in a huge project, the project of his life: Cascades.

“His career embodies the emergence of a francophone Québec that is proud of its roots. Our big brother was a great man. Today, he is a legend.”

Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive, said: “Bernard is the source of the ingenuity and dedication of the 10,000 or so Cascaders.

“It is thanks to him that they are working today in a multinational company that is a role model and whose vision, success and values are praised.

“He gave the Company the momentum that has made it grow and shine for nearly 60 years. His legacy is rich and will live on.”

Contribution to the business world: In 1985, the newspaper Finances awarded Lemaire the title of Businessman of the Year.

In 1991, the Association des professionnels en ressources humaines du Québec awarded him the Iris d’honneur for his contribution to the advancement of human resources management.

He has been awarded the insignia of Officer of the Order of Canada, Officer of the National Order of Québec, and Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, and granted by the President of the French Republic.