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Former West Hants planner remembered as being ‘a beautiful light in this world’


Published on September 12, 2017

Jeanne Bourque, a former planner with the municipality of West Hants, passed away peacefully on Aug. 28, 2017. She shared a lot of her life and battle with cancer on her personal blog.

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WEST HANTS, N.S. —A former planner with the Municipality of West Hants is being remembered for her zest for life while facing terminal cancer.

Coun. Jennifer Daniels met Jeanne Bourque when Daniels first joined council five years ago. She said Bourque’s “infectious love of planning” was contagious.

“She was always receptive to new ideas in our changing world. I always enjoyed attending planning conferences with her as she was comfortable to light up the table with lively conversations about the world she new best,” Daniels said.

“I'll always cherish the many chats and laughter we had in her office, her compassion for the environment and community she worked in and her eagerness to share knowledge,” Daniels continued.

“She was a wonderful friend, a beautiful light in this world and lived everyday to its fullest, which was one of the biggest lessons she shared with me. She will be truly missed.”

Bourque chose to leave this world on Aug. 28, 2017.

Bourque lived in Wolfville and, according to her obituary, was passionate about many things, including her Acadian heritage, climate change, and buying local.  

She worked extensively on many files for the municipality, including the new fire station in Garland’s Crossing.  

She also shared a lot of her life and battle with cancer on her personal blog, where she detailed her treatments and her decision to use medical assistance in dying.

In her last blog post entitled ‘Regrets? Nahhhhh!,’ Bourque encourages people to carry on her work with medical assistance in dying — and to enjoy every day.

“I did as much advocacy work as I could muster on M.A.I.D.  I leave it you to continue as you see fit. Volunteer for a community group that is setting up a hospice near you. Talk to your friends and family about M.A.I.D. Eat more chocolate if that therapy suits you,” she wrote.

“Dying is just a part of living.  Have fun with it. Have a party! Have two parties!”

Cathie Osborne, the chief administrative officer for West Hants, met Bourque about three years ago and said her passion for life touched many people during that time.

“I only knew Jeanne for about three years; most of it while she was struggling with one health issue or another. Over that time I came to admire her zest to live her life as joyfully as possibly,” said Osborne.

“Jeanne was very open and honest about Jeanne, her health and her desire to find a way to help others who might find themselves in similar circumstances. Her legacy is how to gracefully live life while dying. She will be missed.”

Coun. Paul Morton said Bourque had a wonderful sense of humour and was a passionate speaker.

“Well my finest memory of Jeanne was during the watershed meetings. You would be talking and then she would say, ‘well let me tell you,’ and about 10 or 15 minutes later it was somebody else’s turn to talk,” said Morton. “She was very hard to reel in but funny as hell.”