AGAPE major participant at the “Building Together” conference

On November 23rd and 24th, Agape’s Kevin McLeod and Ian Williams took part in a 2 day exchange conference* in Quebec City put together by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN). The exchange conference “Building Together” joined over 20 community health and social service networks (NPIs) across Quebec along with many public partners from the Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS) and Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS).

“Building Together” conference
Agape’s Kevin McLeod, Kathleen Weil, Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers and Ian Williams

The event had four primary objectives: To highlight several Adaptation projects that were carried out in 2013-2018; To review the implementation of health projects aimed at English-speaking individuals and communities in Quebec; To highlight best practices and priorities for new projects in 2018-2023; To encourage networking between all of the partners.
The conference highlighted several success stories and the partnerships that have built successful results together. The conference was also a key opportunity to develop new ideas and collaborations for improving access to health and social services for English-speaking communities and individuals across the province. There was a deeper understanding of the issues facing many communities and how those issues have been addressed through creative programing and adaptation of services.

Conference room
“Building Together” 2 day exchange conference

“It was great to see all of the organizations come together with great ideas and success stories, all benefiting the English-speaking minority population of Quebec.” said McLeod. “We have a good working relationship with the CISSS Laval (Health and Social Services Centre) and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them. The last census shows that there are 90,980 English-speakers in Laval which represents 21.8% of the Laval population. The numbers keep growing in our favor, services must do the same.”
Agape had the opportunity to share their own success stories as well as display the many services/projects offered to the English-speaking community of Laval such as the Adaptation of health and social services initiative*, Networking and Partnership Initiative (NPI)*, Health Promotion Projects (HPP)* for youth and seniors, Community Health Education Programs (CHEP)* and the McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals Progam.*

Conference poster
“Building Together” conference poster

“Agape has been around for many years now and we offer so much more than a food, clothing and furniture bank. It’s nice to see that Laval English-speakers are finally turning to Agape for many different services. ” McLeod added.
Welcomed at the reception were special guests Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services and Kathleen Weil, Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebeckers, Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions.
“We spoke with Minister Weil and we agreed to schedule a meeting in the New Year,” McLeod explained. “Agape would like to welcome her at our organization and we would like to introduce her to the English-speaking population of Laval.”
*Initiatives funded by Health Canada through the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.

conference table
AGAPE’s “Building Together” conference table