Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, was in the Nanaimo area Saturday, and stopped by COCO Café in Cedar to chat with workers and have lunch. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Governor General of Canada hopes businesses follow lead of Vancouver Island café

Governor General Julie Payette hopes businesses become inclusive like COCO Café, near Nanaimo

The Governor General of Canada hopes more businesses become as inclusive as a café on Vancouver Island.

Governor General Julie Payette, on a four-day tour of B.C., visited COCO Café at Cedar, near Nanaimo, Saturday. She had lunch and saw the workings of the business, which provides employment for people with developmental disabilities. Payette said one of the reasons she decided to stop by was to see the “social conscience that it has.”

Payette said there should be more inclusion and with talk of a labour shortage nationally, she spoke of ways to make it easier for people with barriers to find employment.

“By having the work experience because then afterwards they gain confidence,” said Payette when asked about helping people find work. “People (will) gain confidence also that this is something that will work and it’s good for their business, so it’s a synergy. If you don’t have the experience, then people don’t want to hire you and then it just rolls and rolls, so it has to be blossoming.”

Payette, a former astronaut, said people shouldn’t be afraid to follow COCO Café’s model.

“Dare to dream. Dare to make that move because sometimes the hardest is to make the move … it’s very similar to space travel, [but] once you get up there you’re fine. It’s a will and I think many people have it and it’s so heartwarming and also rewarding,” said Payette. “People don’t realize that it’s so rewarding to work with people and help them through their journey. Afterwards you really feel good.”

Payette will head to Victoria next, where she will spend the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday. Her tour concludes Monday in Comox.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Port Alberni cadet learns outdoor skills at Vernon camp

Outdoor skills some of leadership learning activities at annual summer camp

Vandals break windows in Port Alberni heritage train cars

Damage in the thousands of dollars, says Industrial Heritage Society

Fire destroys mysterious travel trailer in Port Alberni alley

Port Alberni Fire Dept. security cameras capture start of fire

Port Alberni wants to bring back bed races for annual Salmon Fest

Veteran racer recalls thrill of racing a handcrafted bed through city streets

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read