Inka Milewski calls Florian Levesque a giant in New Brunswick’s environmental and social justice wars. Florian, 53, died on March 23rd while jogging.
“He was my friend and fellow strategist. He was a happy, creative and generous person that lived and breathed his commitment to the people around him and the community he lived in,” said Milewski who worked with Florian on numerous files aimed at protecting the environment and people of northern New Brunswick. Florian was a driving force behind efforts to stop the Bennett toxic waste incinerator from operating in Belledune. He was also active on campaigns to protect the public forest of New Brunswick and make community forestry a viable option in the province.
Florian’s environmental activism was rooted in principles of environmental justice, which led to the NB Media Co-op recruiting him as their founding environmental justice advisor. His wise and witty commentary graced many columns of newspapers, airwaves of radio stations and email inboxes of organizers in a variety of environmental and social movements. Recently, Environnement Vie, a co-operative that thrived with Florian’s direction and dedication, held workshops throughout northern New Brunswick on how to live more sustainably. He wanted to start a school that imparted knowledge of the forest and how to protect and restore it.
Florian lived in Ontario for several years and returned to his native home of Balmoral, near Campbellton, in 1993.
Florian’s activism was not limited to New Brunswick. He was a member of Solidarité Acadie-Palestine and donated generously to the Canada Boat to Gaza campaign, which is determined to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.
He believed in the power of stories, art and theater to change the world. He was a passionate speaker and storyteller. As the character, Monsieur Flo, he got children to open up their imaginations to a world of possibilities. His life story inspires all those fighting for environmental and social justice.
Florian is survived by his partner Alexandra (Alex), his son Jeremy, his parents, siblings and in-laws. His family asks that donations in his name be made to Environnement Vie or Amnesty International.