Skip to main content

North Bay woman to receive Order of Canada merit for hospice advocacy

Share

The Nipissing Serenity Hospice is celebrating its director emeritus, Mathilde Bazinet, who was instrumental in the hospice's creation.

Bazinet recently found out she was chosen as a recipient of the Order of Canada. With a smile, she received hugs Thursday and reconnected with friends and colleagues.

"You consider all the wonderful people in Canada who deserve the Order of Canada. It's very humbling and very rewarding," said Bazinet.

When she received the call from the executive assistant to Governor General Mary Simon, she initially thought it was a prank.

Bazinet is being recognized for her decades of service, for volunteering and pressing for improved justice and health care access.

"It brings attention to our hospice," she said.

Her hospice work began in 2006, when her brother Lucien passed away peacefully in hospice care just south of Montreal.

The Nipissing Serenity Hospice is celebrating its director emeritus, Mathilde Bazinet, who was instrumental in the hospice's creation. Bazinet recently found out she was chosen as a recipient of the Order of Canada. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

Bazinet was deeply moved by the care he received in his final days. From then on, she knew a hospice needed to open in the District of Nipissing.

"In 2007, when the hospices in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie were opened, I saw the beautiful work they were doing there," she said.

"I said we have to have one."

Her dream came true when the Nipissing Serenity Hospice opened its doors in 2020.

"Every time I walk in, I wish I could sing because I would sing ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen," she said.

"There is a need for better quality palliative care throughout Canada."

Bazinet still volunteers at the hospice and provides advice and insight to its board of directors.

"We probably wouldn't be here or we wouldn't be here in the same form," said hospice executive director Gil Pharand.

"You need someone to spearhead a project like this and keep it going. Not only get it going, but keep it going."

Introduced in 1967, the Order of Canada is the second-highest honour for merit in Canada behind the Order of Merit.

According to the Governor General's office, Bazinet's name joins just more than 7,600 other Canadians who have also received the award.

"She's like the mom that comes back to check on the kids as we grow," laughed Pharand.

Bazinet will receive the award in Ottawa either in the fall or next spring. It will be a ceremony she deeply looks forward to.

"It's very gratifying for me," said Bazinet. 

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Oilers rally to beat Stars, tie Western Conference Final

With the Edmonton Oilers down two goals late in the first period of Game 4, Rogers Place was quiet, fans seemingly bewildered at the early, quick scoring of the Dallas Stars and the slow start by the home team. Ryan McLeod's marker with six-and-a-half minutes in the opening frame left changed all that.

Stay Connected