“Supporting the English-speaking community in West Quebec”

Conseil d’administration

Arthur Ayers

Président

Arthur Ayers is a lawyer with his own practice. His professional experience has included immigration and refugee issues. He is bilingual in English and French, a resident of Gatineau and keenly interested in the situation of the English-speaking community of Quebec. He has taught English in Japan and is fluent in Japanese. He describes himself as having proven adaptability to various work and cultural environments. His sports interests include cycling racing and cross-country skiing.

Robert Valcov-Kwiatkowski

Vice President

Born in Montreal, Bob attended MacDonald High, John Abbott College and McGill University before heading out west with his wife Anne and spending several years in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Settling in Aylmer, Quebec, Bob had a remarkable career in the Government of Canada, both as a public servant, specializing in federal-provincial and international sport relations, and as Chief of Staff to several federal cabinet ministers. After six years as Canadian Director of Safari Club International, Bob joined United Way Ottawa to manage the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) raising over $29 million per year nationally.
He has served on the Board of Governors of Heritage College; the Prime Minister’s National Hunting & Angling Advisory Panel; the Canada Games Council; the Victoria Commonwealth Games Board; and the Thunder Bay World Nordic Games Board.
Bob has kept bees for over thirty years and teaches a beekeeping course at Heritage College. He also loves to hunt and fish. Bob and Anne enjoy spending time with their six children and eight grandchildren.

David Gillespie

Treasurer

Cassandra Plourde

Secretary

Cassandra Plourde was born and raised in Ladysmith, British Columbia; a small town on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. After graduating high school in the summer of 2014, she made the cross-country journey to Ottawa to pursue her studies at Carleton University. In 2017 Cassandra moved to Aylmer, QC and immediately fell in love with the small-town feel and friendly community! Cassandra graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in June 2018. Since then, she has been working for the federal government in administration and communications. She one day hopes to be the Spokesperson for a ministry! Cassandra has been on the RAWQ Board of Directors since June 2019 and is proud to represent the youth of her community.

Jared Broughton

Director

Jared Broughton is passionate about giving back to the community and volunteering. He has been learning French for over 5 years and is determined to become a fully functional member of Québec society as a French speaker. Jared’s expertise and background is in Administration & Research. He has obtained more than +2000 hours of volunteer work in various industries and capacities with various demographics. Jared is an avid runner and has completed 4 marathons.
Ultimately, Jared wants to make a difference and have his voice heard while advocating for Anglophones and helping to create a more enthusiastic and engaging organization. Jared would love to see ALL Anglophones such as himself obtain a functional level of French to be able to flourish as citizens of Québec regardless of the obstacles or Bills.

Chris Judd

Director

Born in Shawville, Quebec, Chris was a founding member of Quebec Young Farmers Association in 1967. He has been member of different Associations, such as the Ottawa Valley Tractor Puller, and the Shawville and district Snowmobile Club. Chris set three main life goals in 1978. The first one was to “do things right” or don’t do them at all. The second one was to build a farm that “ALL” his family could be involved in, when they were ready, (If they wanted to), and build a farm that could financially support “ALL” the families. The last one was to teach “someone” on our farm to do each job, task, or future planning, so that the “family” and “farm” could continue without him. Later in life, Chris was a councilor for the Village of Shawville (water, roads, and fire dept. committees) 1991-1995 to what he resigned in 1995 to accept presidency of Quebec Farmers Association. He was also a director of Shawville Ag. Society for two stretches. He was also a director of Pontiac milk producers from 1979-2014, (president from 1992-2013), (Provincial director of “Federation les Producteurs du Lait de Quebec” from 2003-2006.

Presently, Chris is a voluntary director on the “Villa James Shaw” project, planning a 40+ bed retirement home in the village of Shawville. He is also on the CANAMEX committee (with both Canadian and United States members) to explore agricultural tourism, sustainable agriculture, and trade between Canada and the US. Currently he serves as a director on the Quebec “cull cow and veal calf” marketing committee, and a director for the Regional Association of West Quebecers.

Paul Brown

Director

Paul Brown, born in Ottawa, ON has been a resident of La Pêche since 2008. Paul has been a social justice advocate for many years and is dedicated to community development. Currently, as Executive Director of the 100 Mile Arts Network, Paul focuses his energy on supporting artists in the Outaouais.
Paul is a founder and President of Bearing Witness Canada a not-for-profit that he started in response to the TRC commission’s 94 Calls to Action. His other interests include gardening, studying nature, walking and knitting, a skill he learned as a child.

Judith O'rourke

Director

Judith was born in Norwich, England and has called Aylmer home for more than 40 years. Her 2 older children and all 7 grandchildren also live in Aylmer. Her youngest daughter, a former “Aylmer Citizen of the Year” is a teacher in the Gaspé region of Québec. Judith spent 13 years as a Commissioner for the Western Québec School Board and chaired several committees during her tenure. She is a long-time member of Christ Church Cathedral, in Ottawa where she has held numerous volunteer positions. An avid traveller, who has visited 82 countries, Judith believes that there is always something new to learn. For relaxation, Judith enjoys reading, knitting, making teddy bears and working on her family tree.

Becky Drummond, CPA, CFE

Director

Becky is a Senior Manager at a women-led management consulting firm in Ottawa and resides in Aylmer. Becky brings over 8 years of experience in risk and financial management through various projects performed over the course of her career including but not limited to: external audit, internal controls, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, fraud risk management, forensic investigations and fraud awareness and training for multiple clients throughout Australia, Canada, and in the US. Becky’s focus on risk and financial management stems from her training as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) both as an external consultant and as an industry professional. She obtained practical experience working with a breadth of clients among various public, private and not-for-profit sectors while at a big 4 firm. She has worked with various industries including financial services, public sector, real-estate and construction. Through this work she realized her passion and interest for fraud and also obtained her Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation to assist clients with their fraud risk management and forensic investigation needs.

Becky also has a strong passion for community involvement. She teaches business courses at Carleton University part-time because she wants to support investing in the future workforce. In past years, she has also taught at Algonquin College. In her downtime, Becky enjoys adventuring in Gatineau Park or along the multi-use pathways. Becky is also an avid outdoor obstacle course racer (OCR), volleyball player and rock climber, along with her partner Bryan.

Mariam Wasty

Director

Mariam Wasty was born and raised in Montreal, where she completed her Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Human Resources. She moved to Aylmer, QC in 2015 where she became an expert in conflict management with her growing family of 3 kids. She also started working as accountant of the Regional Association of West Quebecers where she was able to expand on her financial experience and become familiar with the Association. She now works for the federal government as a Program Officer and she looks forward to using her skillset to help RAWQ further achieve their objectives in helping serve the Outaouais region.

Lemali Pathirana, MCHC, MBA

Director

Lemali is a new Canadian living in the Hull district of the City of Gatineau. She has over fifteen years of international work experience working in different roles and industries. She established a health coaching practice five years ago after becoming certified as a Master Health coach with DSWI in the USA. She was able to help people preserve their quality of life through lifestyle interventions and worked with Fortune 500 companies.
After moving to Canada, Lemali wanted to extend the scope of her work by growing chemical-free fresh produce using sustainable technologies in the Outaouais region. She became the second runner-up of the ELLEvate pre-accelerator with her sustainable farming project in September 2021. Lemali serves as the Vice President of Membership at Bells Corners Toastmasters club.
English is Lemali's second language, she is excited to learn a third language, French. Lemali would like to share her experience settling down in Outaouais to help new immigrants adjust to their new homes comfortably and thrive in their communities.

Brian Rock

Director

Brian Rock is a retired School Principal and former RAWQ Executive Director. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Community Groups Network and the Western Quebec Literacy Council, as well as being a member of the Hull-Aylmer Senior Council.
Brian serves as a Community Representative on the South Hull Elementary School Governing Board. A former High School Teacher of the History of Quebec and Canada, Brian chairs the Committee on the Enhancement of the Curriculum of the History of Quebec. The Immediate Past President of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, he chairs the QFHSA Education, Rights, and Resolutions Committee.
A former member of the Election Systems Study Panel and the Advisory Board on English Education, Brian is a keen observer of the political scene. He writes the monthly column “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” for the Aylmer Bulletin, the Pontiac Journal, and the West Quebec Post.
Brian enjoys spending family time with his wife Maria-Teresa, an elementary school teacher, and their three daughters. His hobbies include reading, researching, writing, attending sports events, and walking his youngest daughter’s two Boston Terriers.