“Supporting the English-speaking community in West Quebec”

Board of Directors

Arthur Ayers


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.

Alain Guy


Alain Guy is a Chairperson of the Western Quebec School Board (WQSB) and received a certificate in Adult Education from St-Francis Xavier University. He is committed to representing youth and adult English education voices in Québec. Alain is a strong advocate for public education. To ensure delivery of the best possible education and achievement for students, Alain believes in the promotion of influential values in the promotion of ethical behaviour particularly in a democratic society where it is expected to express the shared values of others. Transparent decision making, clear educational priorities and responsibility acceptance are also important strategies that he strives upon to become a critical leader for the immediate community that he serves.
Alain is also a member of the Québec English School Board Association’s Executive Committee, a director of Education Internationale Québec, Vice-Chair and Executive Director at CEGEP Heritage, a member of the Minister of Education’s Advisory Board on English Education, and is the Vice-President of the Regional Association of West Quebecers.

Ken Bernard


Ken Bernard was elected to the board in 2017. He grew up in the Gaspe in the town of Murdochville. Quebec was more “English” during those years but he slowly saw that accommodation slip away. Having done quite a bit of travel throughout Europe, he understands the comfort level one has of being able to be understood in their native tongue. As he wants the English-speaking community to be a strong participant in the growth of the province, he thinks that French-speaking Quebecers should feel equally comfortable language wise in the rest of Canada.

Cassandra Plourde


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.

Chris Judd


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.

Judith O'rourke


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.

Robert Willson


Robert has lived in Old Gatineau since 1975 and is an active member of the Association des residents de Limbour. He is a graduate of the Université du Québec en Outaouais. In the past, Robert been an active member of CURE and Outaouais Alliance.
Robert retired from his career as an English as a second-language teacher of 45 years. He fills his time by remaining involved with numerous organizations as a volunteer, occupying different posts. Robert is involved with the federal riding association and can often be found interacting with fellow citizens of the Pontiac riding, during election time.

Fareed Khan


Fareed Khan has spent a distinguished 30+ year career as an advocacy, communications, public policy and media relations professional, where he used his experience and insight to advance public policy initiatives at all levels of government. He has advised and consulted with federal and provincial cabinet ministers, senators, as well as with municipal, business and community leaders on a broad spectrum of public policy and communications issues that have impacted the lives of Canadians. He is passionate about issues which impact human rights and civil liberties, combat racism, and support broader issues of social justice. Because of his human rights and anti-racism work, Fareed is regularly called upon by CBC, CTV, Global, Canadian Press, the Globe and Mail and others to provide media analysis and commentary.
Fareed is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, and pursued graduate studies at Carleton University in the areas of foreign affairs, defence, national security, and communications studies. He has held leadership positions on the boards of numerous national and community-based charitable, civic and business organizations in Ottawa, Toronto, and the US, and has led efforts which have raised more than $375,000 for various charitable causes.
He is a co-founder of the Rohingya Human Rights Network and their Director of Advocacy and Media Relations, as well as the founder of the activist group Canadians United Against Hate.

Robert Valcov-Kwiatkowski


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