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UPDATE: Chapter activist William Heshka passes away

Bill (left) receives the Queen's Jubilee Commemorative medal from Kormos.

Bill (left) receives the Queen’s Jubilee Commemorative medal from Kormos.

William Heshka, the first chairperson of the revitalized Niagara chapter of the Council of Canadians, passed away at the age of 80 on May 16.

Ron Walker, acting chairperson of the Council of Canadians Niagara chapter, writes that Bill served, “beginning in the mid-nineties through to the new millennium. He performed this duty in an exemplary manner and with diligence.”

Bill’s long-list of Council of Canadians activism includes in February 1998 defending the Canada Pension Plan at a Global Teach-in workshop at McMaster University. In March 2001, he presented against the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to the Regional Municipality of Niagara’s Corporate and Financial Services committee. He was also key in organizing a packed public forum on public health care in St. Catharines featuring Maude Barlow in 2002.

In 2003, he received the Queen’s Jubilee Commemorative medal for his community activism. It was presented to him by NDP Niagara Centre MPP Peter Kormos.

As the Ontario organizer when Bill was the chapter chair, I had the opportunity to meet with Bill many times and was always left inspired by his commitment to social justice and his personal kindness.

Our condolences to Bill’s family and friends.