Waterloo region community advocate Trudy Beaulne, dead at 63

Trudy Beaulne, a community advocate in Waterloo region who fought for people in poverty and people with mental and physical disabilities, died suddenly last Friday at the age of 63.

She is remembered for helping the less fortunate and people with disabilities

Trudy Beaulne died suddenly at the age of 63. She was a well-known advocate in Waterloo region for people living in poverty. (Laurel L. Russwurm/Creative Commons Attribution)

Trudy Beaulne, a community advocate who fought for the poor and people with mental and physical disabilities, died suddenly last Friday at the age of 63. She was the executive director of the Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region.

Beaulne was also involved with a number of other groups and agencies, including the K-W Social Planning Council and Community Information Centre of Waterloo Region and Mount Hope Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association.

One of her advocacy efforts was in a pre-budget consultation presentation in January 2014, where Beaulne called on the Finance and Economic Affairs committee to increase minimum wage to help people living in low economic circumstances.

"We ask that all political parties in Ontario join the community of voices for equality and fairness, provide a legacy for the future," said Beaulne. "And have compassion for our fellow community members, particularly those who are most disadvantaged."

The minimum wage changed from $10.50 to $11 per hour in June 2014. 

This video is a speech she made in January 2017 about basic income.

'True champion'

Condolences poured in on social media from many members of the community with high regard for her passion for helping others, such as the mayor of Kitchener.

"Trudy was a passionate community advocate who dedicated her life to supporting those struggling with life's challenges [and] to building a stronger, healthier community," Berry Vrbanovic said in a tweet.

Levi Oakey, who knew Trudy through the neighbourhood association, called her "a true champion in our neighbourhood."

Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said Beaulne's "dedication and service to our community will not be forgotten."

Beaulne is survived by her husband, children and grandchild. Her family will receive family and friends Friday at the Henry Walser Funeral Home for her memorial service.