Jennifer Pearson-Millar tells DonegalWoman.ie how she is looking forward to making a difference after being elected to local council in Canada.
Jennifer Pearson-Millar is about the begin a new adventure after being voted in as a Councillor of Lac-Supérieur, an idyllic ski resort in Quebec.
The St. Johnston native has called Lac-Supérieur home for over eight years, where she has found a place at the heart of the community as a B&B owner, TV presenter and volunteer.
Jenny and her husband Craig run Plumes et Glisse, a charming three-bedroom B&B in the woodlands beside the slopes of the Laurentian Mountains, where winter lasts for sixth months, deer roam the countryside and bears are not an uncommon sight.
To Jenny, the lakeside region in Mont-Tremblant already feels like home: “I feel a great affinity with the place. The countryside reminds me of Donegal. The roads follow the rivers and in between the hills and the mountains.
“Apart from the natural beauty, it’s the people who are very special and who have helped make us feel so much at home,” she told Donegal Woman.
Jenny made one of her many trips home to Ireland the week after the election. All the while, her phone has been filling up with congratulatory messages in French from her Quebecois neighbours.
She considers her real ‘home’ to be somewhere between Donegal and Holywood Co. Down, where she lived for over 20 years. Her son and daughter, Arie and Ana live in London and Amsterdam respectively, which means her family is connected all over the world.
Jenny’s new journey into politics truly begins when she returns to Canada in December, just as guests begin to arrive at the B&B for the popular skiing season.
As a former restaurateur and trainee of Le Cordon Bleu in London, Jenny has a passion for food that she shares with her guests in a rich mix of contemporary Celtic, classical French, and fresh Quebec dishes with local ingredients. Living in a region of many organic farms and artisans has led her to great discoveries about edible foods from the forests and woods. “Life is about growing and striving to make things better,” Jenny commented.
Plumes et Glisse B&B is held in high regard in Lac-Supérieur, where guests enjoy the delights of having their own personal chef.
“We’re regarded as one of the top places for standards, because I only know one way to do something and that’s the way that my mother would have said: ‘If a job is worth doing it’s worth doing well’. I take pride in providing and doing the best that I can,” Jenny said.
Jenny shares her skills in entertaining and cooking on her bilingual TV show, ‘Table Talk with Jenny’ on the TVCL community network. She welcomes guests and interviews producers on food, gardening and other topics. You can watch some archived episodes online here at tvcl.ca
Jenny hosts another show, Our Community Connections, in which she features the stories of people and important topics throughout the locality.
Perhaps it was Jenny’s own community connections, her passion for tourism and her love of volunteering that inspired Lac-Supérieur’s now-Mayor Steve Perreault to knock on her door and ask her to join his campaign team.
“I had never met him before but there was something about him. I liked his approach. He seemed very caring and genuine. He was honest and transparent about what was involved,” she said.
Craig was supportive of the idea and she gained enthusiasm for the campaign from a friend, who told her: “If you’re going to run, run to win, because after the result you’ll be satisfied you did your best.”
Steve Perrault formed a team of representatives from many community sectors. Six out of the seven members were elected on November 5th.
Jenny is now the Councillor of her own District, where she plans to focus on issues including road safety and care of the elderly.
“I have a real heart for the elderly and the people who live alone. I would love to start up home visits and things like Meals on Wheels will make a difference.”
Business development, budgeting and meetings are all ahead of her and she is looking forward to working alongside a political team that have become good friends.
“I’m sure there will be a few bumps along the road and I’m sure my French will improve dramatically. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she says.
Another change of scenery is in store again soon for Jenny, but to what, she doesn’t yet know. The B&B is on the market, but she is certain she will remain in Lac-Supérieur to uphold her place in local government.
“Something will turn up. It drives my husband mad because he likes to know what’s coming next.
“I have a very strong faith and if I have peace about something then that’s what I’ll go about. I don’t have a fear of the future. I’ve been through a lot in my life but I find that when I have peace in my decision I know it’s the right decision. Your path gets lit up as you go along.
“I know that I’ll be staying in this municipality for the next four years and I’ll be looking forward to making a positive difference in the lives of the people there. It’s just great that I got voted on because it shows that people are trusting us to do a good job.”
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