A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Subject Profile: Karl Lévêque

Karl Lévêque

Karl Lévêque came to Canada from Haiti in 1959, choosing Québec for religious and linguistic reasons.

Lévêque was a many-sided man. Deeply religious, he was a priest who never preached. He was a philosopher, a karate aficionado, a political activist and a bon vivant who delected himself with refined pipe tobacco and rare rum. But his main and most public role was uniting the Haitian diaspora in Montréal through his radio editorials on CIBL, a local community station.

Karl Lévêque was instrumental in bridging the gaps between the Haitian community and the Québécois. He was appreciated by journalists whom he fed constantly with news of his people. Jean-Claude Leclerc, a journalist who knew him for many years, once said: "He was the perfect example of the Montréaler of the future. He was totally at ease with his original identity and equally comfortable with his new country. He lived his difference not as a problem but as a source of richness." Karl Lévêque died, due to complications during surgery, at the young age of 50.