Chomedey PLQ MNA Sona Lakhoyan Olivier is focused on local issues

Drew inspiration from her father, proud of her Armenian heritage

As far as Chomedey Liberal MNA Sona Lakhoyan Olivier is concerned, until you’ve actually served as a member of the Quebec National Assembly, you can’t have a real idea of just how demanding the job is.

Lakhoyan Olivier was back in Laval last Friday afternoon for the Thanksgiving long weekend, after spending the previous week in Quebec City working on National Assembly business.

Before being elected on Oct. 3 last year, Lakhoyan was an employee of Loto-Québec, serving as an executive hostess to VIP clients at the Montreal Casino.

Chomedey Liberal Member of the Quebec National Assembly Sona Lakhoyan Olivier (seen here on election night Oct. 3, 2022) says she wants to help create better outdoor recreational and leisure environments around the river’s edge in conjunction with the City of Laval. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

The work often took her outside the Montreal region to meet Loto-Québec VIP clients in places like Charlevoix, Trois Rivières and Quebec City.

She has also served as an elected member of the former Commission scolaire de Laval (CSDL), as well as vice-president of the board of directors of the Fondation de la Cité de la Santé.

Armenian-Lebanese roots

Raised on Guénette St. in Chomedey, Lakhoyan Olivier was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Given that Middle Eastern nation’s well-known multicultural identity, she remains a strong defender of multiculturalism in Canada and Quebec.

Having been born into an Armenian family, she attended an Armenian community school during her primary education years in Beirut, followed by high school in Arabic, and then a French-language girls’ school in Montreal, and finally Concordia U.

She was greatly influenced by her father who was deeply involved in the local coaching and organizing for  community sports as well as the Scouting movement. “In the Armenian diaspora, we help each other a lot,” Lakhoyan Olivier said. “So, naturally I continued in my father’s footsteps.”

Chomedey Liberal Member of the Quebec National Assembly Sona Lakhoyan Olivier is seen here with members of her family during a gathering last May at her Samson Blvd. constituency office. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

She excelled in athletics

In her teens and twenties, she was a noted athlete at Armenian sporting events sponsored by the Homenetmen, a pan-Armenian diaspora organization devoted to sports and scouting. “I was involved in the sports and I became a coach in Montreal, but at the same time always involved in the Liberal Party doing volunteer work and whatever needed to be done,” she said.

She played a key role in helping to found an Armenian community Scouts troop in 2016. The group grew quickly from fewer than 100 members in the beginning to more than 300 today.

In her role now as MNA for Chomedey, Lakhoyan Olivier said she is worried about the riding’s situation with regards especially to the rising number of homeless people and the challenging security problems they are beginning to generate.

Local security issues

Having conducted some research among local merchants with the help of her staff, Lakhoyan Olivier was told by a good number of store owners that shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions. She said she hopes to see measures taken in the near future, in conjunction with the City of Laval, to help relieve the problem.

Chomedey MNA Sona Lakhoyan Olivier speaks with members of the Air Cadets’ 100 Laval Squadron during a review of the squadron she did last May 6. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

Other projects she hopes also to bring to fruition with the city include developing more green spaces on the vast expanses along the edges of the rivers that surround Laval. “We need to beautify that corridor, we need to make a marina, we need to make Chomedey a vibrant place,” she said.

“You know, thirty years ago in Laval, I’d see flowers and greenery, but now it’s cement,” she continued. “Now everybody is talking about the îlots de chaleur, you know the heat islands when there are no more trees and no more tree cover.

Youth and senior citizens

“So, we need to find a way to provide space to the people, especially to our youth and our elderly. The most vulnerable of our society are our elderly and our children. We need to offer to our kids a place where they can leave their computer games behind. They need a place and the city has to offer a place.”

With these kinds of projects in mind, she said she is thinking of creating a Green Chomedey Committee that would be open to all, working in conjunction with the City of Laval.

“I would like us to come up with a committee so that we can offer pathways in nature along the river, places that embellish, so that young and old can go in a secure environment.”