Videotron Founder Andre Chagnon Dies at Age 94
Andre Chagnon, 1928-2022. Canadian Press
Published Oct. 8, 2022 2:40 p.m.
Andre Chagnon, a Quebec businessman who founded telecommunications giant Videotron and later set up one of the largest family foundations in the country, has died.
In a statement, his family said Chagnon passed away early Saturday at the age of 94, surrounded by loved ones.
The Montreal-born Chagnon, an electrician by trade, was the founder of Videotron in 1964, the Quebec cable television company that would become one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada.
Videotron was later acquired by Quebecor Media Inc. in 2000, with Chagnon and his widow, Lucie, in turn setting up the Lucie and Andre Chagnon Foundation with a goal of preventing poverty.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault paid tribute to Chagnon as a brilliant and visionary man and someone he had consulted many times during his political career.
Legault said on Twitter that in founding Videotron, Chagnon shaped modern Quebec and highlighted his exceptional efforts to prevent poverty through the family foundation.
Visionary & Philanthropist
By George Yu, MD
As his physician and later his friend, André Chagnon will always remain as the modest giant and visionary, both in his leadership as founder of Videotron (the largest telecommunication network in Canada) as well in his thinking and understanding of health and medical intervention without a formal medical education. We will always remember and love him.
Although he never became a board member of the YuFoundation.org, his guidance and generosity surpassed even our founding fathers.
I first met André and his wife Lucie in 2010, where he asked Dr. Mary Newport and me and to review a $15 million dollar donation for an Alzheimer’s disease group in Canada. We ,all three, unanimously agreed the project did not merit such a donation.
On behalf of his beloved wife Lucie, who was plagued with ongoing Alzheimer’s disease, André, Mary Newport and I consulted everywhere, including a prominent group at University of Toronto on brain dysfunction.
André was the first person to introduce me to Axona, Ltd, the creators of the very first metabolic agent targeting Alzheimer’s, which introduced medium- chain fatty acids as a nutritional intervention for Alzheimer’s to the world. We went to University of Wisconsin, which has the largest stem research team in the world and worked with a group studying hormonal intervention for brain function. Our search was wide!
By fortune and chance, we connected with Dr. Richard Veech MD, PhD, at the U.S. National Institute of Health in Washington, DC, who isolated of beta hydroxybutyrate ketone ester as a potential energy substitute for the central nervous system in Alzheimer’s disease. The late Dr. Veech was a protégé of biochemist Hans Krebs, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering Oxidative Phosphorylation (or Krebs Cycle).
Veech then returned to the United States to work with Dr. George Cahill, MD, (one of my teachers at Harvard) who in the 1970s questioned whether small amounts of ketone esters (not the high ketone level in diabetic ketoacidosis) could one day be used as the fuel for life instead of the fast-acting glucose.
André, Mary, and I worked together to provide the initial funding for the excellent clinical research conducted by a fellow Canadian Stephen Cunnane, PhD, at Sherbrooke University.
This research was the first worldwide to use a special PET scan showing the Alzheimer’s disease was a form of Diabetes Type 3, whereby nerve cells could not incorporate glucose as fuel as early as ten (10) years before the onset of memory loss.
Today, we know Dr. Veech’s ketone isolate, beta hydroxybutyrate ketone ester, is a substitute fuel for people Alzheimer’s disease and for endurance heart muscle function.
Dr. George Cahill of Harvard and more recently Dr. Richard Veech of NIH, and André Chagnon have all passed on and so “selflessly” and generously contributed their work so that people like the late Lucie Chagnon can benefit from early detection and nutritional intervention with ketone esters to fuel the brain and the heart without glucose sugar metabolism. May their legacies be remembered by their families and all who benefited from their greatness and contribution.
André Chagnon quietly made progress in science as his “side kick,” without any expectation of gratitude and continued his private life with his extended family.
We are all blessed to have been with him on Earth!
“The achievement of success is not about power, wealth, or prestige but the ability to change the life of the common man.”
It is changing the life of the common man who may never know who you are!
Lastly, André Chagnon with the late Morgan Wayson, and Ken and the late Joanne Gill made it possible for the Yu Foundation to spend over $500,000 to stage the Tripping over the Truth seminars (TOTT) as a gesture for public awareness and empowerment for the people, who will never know the details that made it possible!
The last time I saw André Chagnon was December 9, 2021, and we parted with many mutual thoughts.