Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, was in the Nanaimo area Saturday, and stopped by COCO Café in Cedar to chat with workers and have lunch. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Governor General of Canada hopes businesses follow lead of Vancouver Island café

Governor General Julie Payette hopes businesses become inclusive like COCO Café, near Nanaimo

The Governor General of Canada hopes more businesses become as inclusive as a café on Vancouver Island.

Governor General Julie Payette, on a four-day tour of B.C., visited COCO Café at Cedar, near Nanaimo, Saturday. She had lunch and saw the workings of the business, which provides employment for people with developmental disabilities. Payette said one of the reasons she decided to stop by was to see the “social conscience that it has.”

Payette said there should be more inclusion and with talk of a labour shortage nationally, she spoke of ways to make it easier for people with barriers to find employment.

“By having the work experience because then afterwards they gain confidence,” said Payette when asked about helping people find work. “People (will) gain confidence also that this is something that will work and it’s good for their business, so it’s a synergy. If you don’t have the experience, then people don’t want to hire you and then it just rolls and rolls, so it has to be blossoming.”

Payette, a former astronaut, said people shouldn’t be afraid to follow COCO Café’s model.

“Dare to dream. Dare to make that move because sometimes the hardest is to make the move … it’s very similar to space travel, [but] once you get up there you’re fine. It’s a will and I think many people have it and it’s so heartwarming and also rewarding,” said Payette. “People don’t realize that it’s so rewarding to work with people and help them through their journey. Afterwards you really feel good.”

Payette will head to Victoria next, where she will spend the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday. Her tour concludes Monday in Comox.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read