René Coicou is confirmed dead at the age of 84.
René was best known as a Haitian-born Canadian politician.
René Coicou
Mayor of Gagnon, Quebec
In office
1973–1985
Personal details
Born1935
Haiti
Died2 March 2020(2020-03-02) (aged 84–85)
Ottawa, Canada
NationalityHaitian
OccupationPolitician
René Coicou (1935 – 2 March 2020) was a Haitian-born Canadian politician, who served as the last mayor of Gagnon, Quebec from 1973 to 1985, making him the first black mayor in Quebec.
Biography
In 1957, Coicou fled Haiti during the regime François Duvalier. He settled in Montreal at the age of 22. He studied mechanics, and was hired by Québec Cartier Mining, leading him to Gagnon, a mining town in Côte-Nord. He soon became a highly respected member of the mining community, and, after advice from his friends, Coicou ran for mayor in 1973. He was elected, and reelected in the following two elections. However, after an economic collapse due to poor output from the mines, Coicou had to announce to the town's 2000 residents that Gagnon would officially be closed on 30 June 1985.
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