Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) mourns Leo Cheverie’s passing as an outspoken advocate of fairness, equity and social justice. At 60, Cheverie no longer speaks up in public forums but his legacy continues to echo across various sectors such as labor, arts or social activism. Cheverie believed in proactive advocacy with unwavering commitment; his life was full of purposeful pursuits filled with purpose, compassion and unfailing dedication.
An Advocate with a Broad Canvas
From the labor movement to social justice, and even the arts, Leo Cheverie’s presence was unmistakable. His multi-faceted approach to advocacy saw him becoming a familiar and respected figure in various circles on P.E.I. As he once mentioned in an interview, he was always eager to raise awareness on critical issues, always lending his voice where he felt it was needed the most.
Political Aspirations with the NDP
Cheverie’s political leanings were evident. A proud candidate of the New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island in several elections, his departure deeply saddens the party. They fondly remember him as someone who passionately championed causes close to his heart, from labor and Indigenous issues to environmental concerns and proportional representation.
An Academic and Librarian
Leo Cheverie’s association with the University of Prince Edward Island began when he graduated in 1984. He soon after took up a role at the library, a position he held diligently till recently. His academic pursuits in history, philosophy, and politics not only shaped his worldview but instilled a belief: “We learn from the past to move forward into the future.”
Electoral Reforms and Cancer Advocacy
Cheverie demonstrated his dedication to fair representation by advocating for electoral reform and proportional representation. After being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2022, however, Cheverie became an outspoken proponent for early cancer screening – emphasizing its treatability during its initial stages as an incentive to prioritize early detection.
Music and Family: The Pillars of His Life
Cheverie’s love for music was deeply rooted in his family heritage. The melodious strains of his father’s guitar and fiddle playing sowed the seeds of his musical inclination. Leo often cited music as a solace and rejuvenator, an integral part of his life. This sense of community service was inherited, largely from his mother, a community service enthusiast and activist. The family’s emphasis on giving back clearly manifested in Cheverie’s lifelong endeavors.
Leadership Roles and Legacy
His leadership acumen was evident when he served as the president of CUPE Local 1870 for over a decade and later helmed the P.E.I. Federation of Labour. Reflecting on his activism in 2022, Cheverie’s motivation was clear: to make P.E.I. a better, stronger, and more progressive place.
Community Outpouring and Support
Leo’s diagnosis saw an overwhelming wave of support from the community. A testament to his influence and the respect he garnered, a GoFundMe campaign amassed over $28,000, aiding him during his treatment phase.
A Life Celebrated in the Present
Cheverie’s philosophy was simple yet profound. He believed in being utterly present, soaking in every moment, cherishing every sunset. It’s a lesson that resonates deeply, reminding us all to be present in our lives, acknowledging the past but looking forward to the future.
In the wake of Leo Cheverie’s passing, Prince Edward Island doesn’t just lose a staunch advocate but a beacon of hope, fairness, and progressiveness. His life story serves as an enduring testament to what passion combined with purpose can achieve. Rest in power, Leo Cheverie, your legacy remains etched in the heart of P.E.I.