I met Florian at his brand new job. He will likely be the most recent local resident of this series. Indeed, on June 1st of this year, he started working at Ville en Vert, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness, educate and support both citizens and organizations in sustainable development in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville area.
Florian is from the Toulouse region in Southwestern France. After studying in a different field, he turned to horticulture, thus following the path of an elder sister. Looking for a program that met his aspirations, he chose the Cégep régional de Lanaudière offering and recently graduated from its Joliette campus. Incidentally, it is through fellow students who are now his roommates in Ahuntsic that he came to know the neighborhood.
I took his picture in the vegetable garden of the Collège André-Grasset on the day Ville en Vert took over its maintenance at the request of the college’s adviser for environment and sustainable development. The garden needed urgent attention, starting with a good weeding. I imagine that despite commendable efforts by the college, it is more difficult to find volunteer student gardeners in the summer!
Florian hopes the produce of this garden can eventually contribute to the food supply of Les Haltes Maraichères Ahuntsic, a mobile market held weekly in various locations during the summer.
When I asked him to describe himself in a word, he answered “uncertain”. There surely was a part of normal adaptation to his new environment behind that answer. It should also be noted that he is currently working on the basis of a three year post-diploma visa. In addition, as the government program that gave tuition parity to French citizens has been abolished − although our Prime Minister regularly says it will take more immigrants in the coming years −, the barriers to immigration remain important for newcomers.
It would be interesting to take a new picture in three years to see where he will be!
Have a good summer, Florian!