M. André Laurin
André Laurin has received the Prix de la justice award in recognition of his support for and contributions to the field of consumer rights protection.
From the start of his career as the head of the family budget service at the Confederation of National Trade Unions, André Laurin took an interest in the question of worker debt, and was able to free hundreds of working families from the domination of finance companies. Law students today can still draw inspiration from his writing and research, published in 1967 in a document focusing on consumer credit abuses.
His actions led to the creation of family finance cooperatives, better known by their French acronym ACEF. He also made an important contribution to the creation of workers' credit unions in Québec, which gave workers access to savings and credit products at acceptable rates of interest. Last, with the bar association in the Saguenay region, he helped launch the first officially-recognized legal aid service.
Throughout his productive career, André Laurin has worked to make justice more accessible to all Quebecers and to ensure that their rights as consumers are respected, whatever their income level or social status.
The Minister of Justice, Kathleen Weil, presenting the 2009 Prix de la justice medal to M. André Laurin.