Café Meech

Le lundi 20 novembre 1995 [Hansard, traduction]:

M. Ian McClelland (Edmonton-Sud-Ouest, Réf.):

Investir dans les gens est de loin la meilleure option. C’est ce dont le pays a besoin. Et c’est d’ailleurs ce que je vais faire. Voici le cas d’une personne ici même à Ottawa qui travaillait dans mon bureau. Originaire d’Edmonton, elle est unilingue. Elle s’est installée à Chelsea et a repris un petit café unilingue anglophone, le café Meech, à Hull, en bordure du parc de la Gatineau.

Il faut qu’elle trouve elle-même les capitaux nécessaires car l’affaire ne répond pas aux critères des banques. Mais elle a la conviction d’avoir ce qu’il faut pour réussir.

Maybe some people remember it. Café Meech. In one form, existed for a year or so, 1996-1997, in Chelsea, Quebec. Successor to an earlier venture, with different principals, that lasted about the same period of time.

The successor started by Shannon Haggarty, then the legislative assistant to Member of Parliament Ian McClelland. Initial investors included Ian McClelland, Stephen Harper and others publicly described as “moderates” within the Reform Party. Ian McClelland commented on the venture in the House of Commons, in relation to entrepreneurship. Broadcaster Richard Madan, then an assistant on Parliament Hill, assisted at the café and sang, doing a tearitup version of Tom Jones’ “Delilah”, among other gems.

Based at the time on small, constructive positives. Those supposedly wild ones from the West, investing in Quebec, in a business with a name involving multiple meanings.

So it only lasted a year, before people went on to other things. Small and big gesture, at a particular time and place. Historic, in its own way.

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