Businessman Raymond Malenfant is no more

Raymond Malenfond, a Quebec hotel owner, died in Montreal on Friday at the age of 91, surrounded by his loved ones. In his lifetime, an entrepreneur would have already amassed $ 400 million in wealth, and he would have known the setbacks of wealth and fortune.

Leila Dussault

Leila Dussault

Raymond Malenfant was named “Best Hotel of the Year” in 1987. He was known in Quebec for his high-profile conflict with the Union in the mid-1980s, until his bankruptcy in the 1990s.

At the height of his fame, Raymond Malonefont was in charge of nine hotels, six office towers, conference halls and a skiing center. He was the owner of several universal hotels, especially the Manoar Richelieu in Charlevoix, the Fort Gary Hotel in Winnipeg and the one in Florida.

“He’s a building, my father,” he said Press His daughter Lynn Malonefont.

He built the first hotel, the second, the third. He created an empire because he worked, worked, worked. And it’s about creating jobs all the time, not for the money.

Lynn Malenfont, daughter of Raymond Malonefont

The 91-year-old died at Sacré-Coeur Hospital on Friday afternoon, surrounded by his children. He was hospitalized with kidney failure and later tested positive for COVID-19. He also had prostate cancer and suffered 17 heart attacks in his life. “That’s a cat, Dad,” Lynn Malenfont said with a small smile in her voice. “He’s a fighter.”

From medicine to hotels

First, it was medicine that fascinated young Raymond Malenfont of Saint-Hubert, near the Rivers-to-Loop in Pass-Saint-Laurent. Born in the midst of the Great Depression on October 6, 1930, the wartime child studied medicine for four years in Paris and Lille before losing interest. The young man later returned to the Canadian Army, where he learned the basics of English.

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Finally, man set his vision in the field of construction and business. “In 1965 he owned his first hotel and my mother [Colette Perron] Has always supported him, ”recalled Lynn Malonefont, born the same year. Thanks to a $ 10,000 loan from a former military comrade, the man acquired land in Siem Saint-Foil, a suburb of Quebec, where he built his first motel. Then, in 1966, he obtained a $ 300,000 mortgage. The next 20 years were good for the Malenfont family.

“He listened to the radio and TV in his room, he watched, and then at some point he created,” Lynn Malonefont recalled.

Trade union dispute in Manoir Richelieu

In 1986, Raymond Malonefont decided to buy the restoration of the manor Richelieu in Charlevoix. “He thought it was a good idea, but it was so hard,” Lynn Malonefont regrets.

The acquisition puts Raymond Malenfont at the forefront of Quebec news due to years of conflict between him and the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN).

The entrepreneur, in fact, chooses not to hire the hotel’s union staff after the purchase. In 1986, during a confrontation with Sûreté du Québec, Gaston Harvey was even killed as a result of the conflict.

“He won in the Supreme Court, but in the end, he lost everything,” said Lynn Malonefont.

In 1990, the Malenfant Group acquired three companies, requiring an investment of $ 40 million, of which $ 10 million was unavailable. Between government debt, municipal taxes, high interest rates, the tax system and the recession, Raymond Malenfont had to declare bankruptcy in 1992.

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“It was very sad. This is where the heart attack started,” says Lynn Malonefont.

The gene for happiness

In 2001, Raymond Malonefont suffered a serious head injury in a car crash in Laval. He has been living with his two children for the last seven years and his wife feels very tired of not being able to take care of him. “I’m 100% lucky to live with him,” says Lynn Malonefont. He is my hero. ”

In 2011, a four-hour miniseries, directed by Ricardo Troki, Malanfund, Explores family history. It airs on Series + Channel. Luke Picard plays Raymond Malonefont.

Then, this year, the businessman reunited with his wife, who found themselves in the same nursing home. “We had a miracle because we found a place for them and they were found together. It was just like that,” explains Lynn Malfond.

Despite his setbacks, Raymond Malonefont is a happy man. “He’s not a man who talks about the past. He’s not bitter, Lynn Malonefond recalls. He had. ”

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