Dedication to Margaret Heap

Portrait of Margaret Heap by her husband, Serge Lalonde, 2018


Portrait of Margaret Heap by her husband, Serge Lalonde, 2018


This issue of Montréal Serai is dedicated to Margaret Heap, a lifelong advocate for social justice and peace who died on December 31, 2018 in Montréal. Committed to fighting poverty, racism and discrimination in any form, Margaret worked tirelessly and quietly on the sidelines, away from the spotlight. She was trained in history and conscious of all those who, by their unsung labour, are the makers of history.

She served the Québec labour movement for more than thirty years as a freelance translator and interpreter who was determined to set the bar high to ensure high-calibre translations in English.

Margaret also teamed up with Lorne Huston to translate several books, including one on Québec history analysing the shift from Church-run services to public services during the Quiet Revolution (Services and circuses: community and the welfare state, by Frédéric Lesemann) and a guide to dealing with domestic violence (Battered Women, by Micheline Beaudry).

Along with her six siblings, Margaret carried on the legacy of their parents, Dan Heap and Alice Heap, fervent peace activists who fought for the rights of Indigenous peoples, advocated for refugees and campaigned against poverty and homelessness.

She took part in the Québec student movement in 2012, volunteered her skills in the services of the Ligue des droits et libertés and other social justice causes, and penned many letters to the editor (in French and English), contesting expressions of racism, sexism and prejudice, and challenging readers to be aware of unconscious discrimination. Margaret held herself and others to account.

Margaret will be remembered for her probing and incisive mind, her stamina, her energy for reading, gardening, knitting, travelling and music, her steadfast commitment to social justice, and her deep love for her husband and family. She will be sorely missed.


Public-sector delegates working in health and social services pay tribute to freelance translator and interpreter, Margaret Heap, at the FSSS-CSN 44th convention on June 15, 2018. Shy at all the attention, Margaret remained modestly at the back of the room near the interpreters’ booth as hundreds of delegates stood and applauded her decades of service to the union. Photo © Marie Boti