Montréal, April 8, 2013 – Montréal Mayor Michael Applebaum welcomed Portage’s President Peter A. Howlett for a special ceremony at City Hall today, to highlight the exceptional contribution that the Portage Program for Drug Dependencies has made to society over the past forty years.
Mr. Howlett was invited to sign Montréal’s Golden Book to commemorate the thousands of people who have been able to overcome their addiction issues and once again become healthy and productive citizens since the first Portage centre opened its doors in 1973 in the Laurentians.
“Portage is such an important resource for individuals and families with drug addiction and mental health issues. Over the past forty years, thousands of people have turned to Portage to overcome their addiction issues and have found hope for a better life at one of its centres,” stated Mayor Applebaum.
“We are honoured to be receiving this recognition from Mayor Applebaum today and are grateful for his support for our cause,” stated Mr. Howlett. “Over the years, Portage’s presence in Montréal has grown as we have adapted our services to respond to new vulnerable clienteles. Our involvement in society is as strong as it has ever been, due to the ever-present need of addicts who wish to take back control of their lives.”
On February 13, 2013, a delegation of Portage graduates and staff members attended a formal lunch with elected officials at Québec’s National Assembly, and then witnessed an official declaration by Mme Véronique Hivon, Minister of Social Services and Youth Protection, which highlighted the forty years of service that Portage has dedicated to treating drug addiction in Canada. On February 14, over 250 residents and staff members from all of Portage’s centres in Québec celebrated the anniversary together at Portage’s lac Écho facility, the place where it all began in 1973.
Since 1973, Portage has helped thousands of people to overcome their substance abuse issues. It provides a variety of services tailored to the needs of its specific clienteles: adults, adolescents, mothers with young children and pregnant women, and people suffering from both drug addiction and mental illness. Portage operates seven substance abuse treatment centres in Québec, in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Prévost, Québec City, and Saint-Malachie. Three other establishments serve the adolescent populations of Ontario, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada.
Photo – from left to right: Michael Applebaum, Mayor of Montréal, Peter Howlett, President of Portage, and Émilie Thuillier, Vice-President of the Executive Committee, responsible for social and community development, family, seniors, youth and the status of women, at Montréal City Hall.