Louis-Ernest Brisson

Ottawa and Countryside

Born on May 24, 1915 in Casselman, Eastern Ontario, Louis-Ernest Brisson was the son of Thérèse Lalonde and Maxime Brisson. He was the oldest in a family of twelve. In October 1936, he got married to Desneiges Burelle from St-Albert. The couple had eleven children (four sons and seven daughters). Two years later, a businessman at heart, he bought the cheese factory run by his father, who had decided to embark on the colonization adventure in Northern Ontario in order to get land for his other children. Louis-Ernest became the third generation of the Bisson family to run the small farm coupled with a cheese factory and a general store. Then, in the early 1950’s, he became a Case tractor dealer. Over the years, the dealership added various tools and snowmobiles.

In 1970, his business, including the general store and the family house attached to it, was destroyed by fire. The following year, the new dealership was rebuilt at the same location. After closing his own cheese factory, he operated a milk transportation company. At the time, he was an important employer in the community.

The businessman also had farming in his blood. In 1959, he bought a larger plot close to his father’s land. Eventually, he would own more than 500 acres and a herd of over 200 heads.

However, all those who knew him well would say that his success in business and in agriculture was matched only by his passion for politics. In this regard, his goal was to serve other people. It is said that he was happy when he was in touch with people, and that he would gladly listen in order to better serve them. His political career was remarkable! He played many key roles that greatly contributed to the well-being of the rural society of the time and continue to reverberate today.

Here’s an overview:

  • School commissioner and a leading figure in the construction of the school of the concession no. 20 in the Township of Cambridge.
  • Involved in the project to build a high school in Casselman.
  • Elected mayor of the Township of Cambridge in1954, a position he held for 28 years.
  • Named warden of the Prescott-Russell United Counties twice.
  • Delegate to the Ontario conservative convention in 1967.
  • Served in the South-Nation conservation authority for 25 years, namely ten years on the executive committee and four years as president.
  • President of the committee of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit in 1978.
  • Participated in the construction of the Foyer Prescott-Russell and credited for getting more than a half million dollars in funding.
  • Member of the Prescott-Russell child care executive committee.
  • Worked for the development of highway 417 which, as we know, still brings important economic benefits to the region.

Overall, his political and community involvement always aimed at improving the quality of life of his fellow citizens. With his family, he would often stress the importance of helping your folks, and he used to remind his fellow citizens the importance of sharing with others when you have the chance to eat three times a day. His altruism was motivated by a profound Christian faith. He was a godly man who believed the observance of daily religious practices was essential and inspiring. A man of principle, he understood the importance of listening to people. According to popular opinion, he was a friendly person with whom it was nice to work, who tried to achieve consensus around him, but who was also able to make tough decisions.

Today, all of us cherish the example of an accomplished businessman, who also made a point of maintaining a deep sense of social responsibility. His legacy lives on through the members of his family who are working in the 35 regional businesses while adhering to the values he instilled in them.

After his death, on December 26, 1983, Ontario’s Premier William Davis said: Eastern Ontario just lost one of its most treasured citizens.