Standing Senate Committe on Official Languages
West Quebecers and the Townshippers appeared before the Standing Senate Committe on Official Languages
Linton Garner RAWQ's Executive Director and Rachel Hunting Townshippers's Executive Director appeared on Monday night at the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages' study examining and reporting on Canadians’ views about modernizing the Official Languages Act.
Meeting with Mayor of Gatineau
Meeting with Mayor of Gatineau Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin
On August 31, 2017 members of the Board of Directors of the Regional Association of West Quebecers met with the Mayor of Gatineau M. Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin at City Hall. Accompanying the Mayor was M. Richard Bégin the City Councillor representing the Aylmer district where our offices are located. The Mayor and M. Bégin graciously received us and we sat down to discuss issues of concern to the English-speaking community. The discussion was very open and frank and very productive from our point of view.
Representing the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ) were our President Arthur Ayers and Board members Judith O’Rourke, Brian Daly, Joe Mackevic and one of our newest members Sam LaBrecque. The board was accompanied by staff members Aldo Jaurequi and Executive Director Linton Garner. The presence of nearly half of our Board along with our staff impressed the Mayor and M. Bégin and probably surprised them too.
Our discussion centered around the relationship between RAWQ and the City and specifically about how we feel RAWQ is an asset and how the City can partner with us lie it does with other community organizations in Gatineau. We also discussed having the Mayor meet the English-speaking community in a Town Hall setting twice a year to enable the community to speak directly with the Mayor about our concerns.
The Mayor and M. Bégin both agreed a closer partnership with RAWQ and the English-speaking community was not only possible but they welcomed the opportunity. M. Bégin will set up a meeting between the City Manager M. Desjardins and RAWQ to discuss how we together can make a partnership a reality. We will also schedule further meetings with the Mayor after the municipal elections to schedule the meeting the English-speaking community.
Finally, we want to thank former Board member and City Councillor Frank Therien for his hard work in facilitating this important meeting.
Representatives of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada
Meeting with the five Regional Representatives of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada
On Wednesday, March 1st, RAWQ in collaboration with the Western Québec School Board, co-hosted a meeting with the five Regional Representatives of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada in the WQSB Board Room in Aylmer. Moderating the gathering was Jim Shea, the Chairman of the
Western Québec School Board and Brian Rock, the RAWQ Executive Director. Jim Shea is also the President of the Québec Community Groups Net-work (QCGN) and Immediate Past President of RAWQ. Brian Rock also serves as the President of the Québec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA) and writes a monthly political commentary column entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place for the West Québec Post, the Aylmer Bulletin, and the Pontiac Journal. Greetings were brought by Arthur Ayers, the President of RAWQ.
The special invited guests were the Commissioner`s Representatives for the five Regional Offices accompanied by staff members. RAWQ & WQSB were so pleased to welcome for this important encounter: Mr. David O. Johnston of Montréal for the Québec Region, Madame Sylvie Paradis of Toronto for the Ontario Region, Madame Mylène Thériault of Moncton for the Atlantic Region, Mr. Guy Jourdain of Winnipeg for the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Region, and Madame Chantal Alarie of Edmonton for the Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut Region. Special thanks go out to Mr. Charles Taker, the Liaison Officer of the Québec Region Office in Montréal for his exceptional organizing skills for making this meeting such a success.
Participating in this meeting were representatives from the Québec Community Newspapers’ Association (QCNA), the Western Québec Literacy Council (WQLC), the Québec Farmers’ Association (QFA), the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC), the Québec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA), the Community Consultation Café of Aylmer, the Aylmer Bulletin, the Anglican Church, the Western Québec School Board (WQSB), the Québec Community Groups Network (QCGN) , the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ), as well as community activists.
Many regional concerns were raised – both urban and rural – concerning official languages issues. A presentation on the role of the media was delivered. Interesting debates continued through the adjourn-ment of the meeting. Thank you to all participants.
Youth Conference 2017
RAWQ’s Regional Youth Conference was held on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at 10:00 a. m. at Cégep Heritage College. This Regional Youth Conference was meant for students in Secondary III, IV, V, and Cégep I, II, III. It was co-sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage of the Government of Canada, Mr. André Fortin, Member of the National Assembly of Québec for the riding of Pontiac, Ms. Maryse Gaudreault, Member of the National Assembly of Québec for the riding of Hull, Mr. Mike Duggan Councillor for the City of Gatineau, and the Youth Committee of the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ).
At the conference, we had the participation of the following panelists:
• André Fortin, MNA for Pontiac
• Caryl Green, Mayor of Chelsea
• Sylvie Goneau, Councillor of Gatineau for the District de Bellevue
• Audrey Bureau, Senior advisor for MP William Amos
• Jim Shea, President of the West Quebec School Board and QCGN
The invited panelists spoke about the duties and responsibilities of the office they hold, the youth issues they deal with, and why they feel that it is so important for youth to become more involved in the political process, and to volunteer in their communities. This was followed by a question and answer forum.
After the Q & A forum, RAWQ presented eleven Outstanding Youth Leadership Award Certificates and a fifty-dollar ($50.00) cash bursary to each of the Award recipients to encourage them to stay active and participate in their communities.
Right after the Awards the students participated in a Boot Camp on How to participate in Meetings, where they learned about recording Minutes, following and drafting an Agenda and Robert’s Rules of Order.
All guests were invited to a complimentary lunch then the students participated in the afternoon workshop of Young Quebecers Leading the Way 2017, sponsored by the Québec Community Groups Network (QCGN).