Montréal, January 23, 2024 – The Board of Directors of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal (CRGM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Johnston as Executive Director. Her mandate is to ensure sound management and development of the four services operated by CRGM:
- 211 Greater Montréal, the regional information and referral service
- The provincial helplines
- Drugs: Help and Referral
- Gambling: Help and Referral
- TeleCounseling, a short-therapy program for excessive gambling.
As the Québec community and social services sector navigates a triple crisis of homelessness, substance use and mental health, there is a growing need for better access to information, support, and referral services. CRGM’s provision of on-line and telephone intervention services is also an important of the sector’s response to this crisis. CRGM is a part of the solution to ensuring adequate and timely support for vulnerable communities.
As she embarks on the next phase of CRGM’s development, Heather will build on a solid foundation of nearly 70 years’ of experience and a team of over 60 skilled and engaged employees. These resources will be an important part of CRGM’s new strategic plan to develop and adapt programs and services to meet the changing needs of the community and social services sectors. Heather possesses all the skills and experience required to meet head on these enormous challenges!
Heather has more than 20 years’ experience managing programs in the areas of health, homelessness, housing, education and food security. Before joining CRGM, she served as Executive Director at Projets Autochtones du Québec (PAQ), the largest community organization providing shelter, housing and social services to the urban Indigenous population in Tio’tià : ke / Montréal. During her time at PAQ, Heather oversaw a significant expansion of the organization’s programs and services. Prior to PAQ, Heather held the role of President and CEO of Dignitas International, an international non-profit organization working in the areas of global health and research. Heather also spent many years in West Africa managing a diversified portfolio of international development projects for several different organizations, including Oxfam.
Heather Johnston, Executive Director, Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal
” I am very pleased to be joining the team at the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal. This is a community organization that is almost 70 years old, but it remains at heart resolutely modern and ready to adapt, to the every-changing myriad of socio-economic issues. The team is incredibly motivated, and ready to move forward to deliver on the organization’s mission. We are also well-positioned as key player in supporting Québec’s most vulnerable communities. I am confident that together we will succeed in meeting these challenges, and I thank the Board of Directors for its trust. ”
Pierre-Emmanuel Paradis, Economist and President of AppEco, President of the Board of Directors of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal
” We are happy and proud to welcome Heather as the CRGM’s new Executive Director. Her experience in the community sector is exemplary and we are lucky to be able to have as our leader such a competent professional. CRGM is well positioned to consolidate its achievements and to develop itself over the years to come. ”
About the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal – Founded in 1956, the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal’s (CRGM) mission is helping through information. It manages four services:
- Greater Montréal’s community information and referral services helpline, which became 211 Greater Montreal in 2018.
- Drugs: Help and Referral helpline since 1992
- Gambling: Help and Referral helpline since 1993
- TeleCounseling for Excessive Gambling program since 2012.
More than 70 000 people benefit annually from these services.
Director of Communications, Development and Community Relations
Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal