About the Council of Commissioners
In addition to schools having their own Governing Boards, the Western Québec School Board is itself governed by a council of 16 commissioners. These 16 commissioners are either elected every four years by eligible voters whose names are on the territory’s English Electors List, or appointed under the Act, respecting School Elections. The next elections should be held on November 4, 2018.
I am pleased to accept the challenge as Chairman of the Western Québec School Board.
I commit to putting students first as the foundation for all decisions.
I commit to evidence-based, ethical and transparent decision-making practises that will be supported by a clear and effective communications plan.
I commit to seeking the input of parents as critical partners.
I commit to advocating for funding as minority-language education in the same manner as French schools are funded outside Québec.
I commit to the inclusion of local communities as factors in the decision-making process. Every community is an equal partner that should be respected.
I commit to providing the opportunity for English-language education in every sector of our region.
I commit to being the advocate for students, parents and electors in all dealings with the Board.
I commit to developing partnerships that enhance financial stability and commitment to collaborative educational goals.
I will advocate for the respectful inclusion of all students and a quality bilingual education for all who wish it.
I invite all communities and individuals to become engaged with me, commissioners and senior administration, as partners in education to ensure the future of our English language institutions and the success of all of our learners. I encourage all of you to become involved in the education process and to support your local schools. Positive teacher interaction at the classroom level is the key to successful learning. Our schools are providing the foundation values and beliefs of our future generations.
Education is a partnership that requires commitment from all stakeholders. Our world may be a different place because we are committed to making a difference in the lives of all of our learners.
The council of commissioners regularly meets once a month. Since the elected officials represent their community, they must take the time to become familiar with the issues that concern their voters and to inform parents, electors, the governing boards and the community as a whole of the decisions taken. This is why their phone numbers and email addresses are on display below.
Review information for every commissioner before launch.
- Chairman James Shea
- 520, rue Court, Gatineau (Québec) J9H 4M9
- 819 684-5141
- Vice-chair Alain Guy / Ward 7
- 116, rue Victor-Hugo, Gatineau (Québec) J8R 2Z6
- 819 669-6905
- Commissioner Rhonda Boucher / Parent Commissioner (Secondary)
- 10, chemin des Chardons, Val-des-Monts (Québec) J8V 2V3
- 613 261-9858 or 819 457-4856
- Commissioner Greg Brennan / Parent Commissioner (K-11)
- 159, rue King, Maniwaki (Québec) J9E 2L2
- 819 441-1363
- Commissioner Arlene Brunke / Ward 6
- 6, Wilfrid Gauthier, Gatineau (Québec) J8M 1B2
- 819 351-4788
- Commissioner Wayne Daly / Ward 9
- 195, rue des Forgerons, Gatineau (Québec) J9J 2N9
- 819 682-5304
- Commissioner Pierre Dionne / Ward 4
- 43, chemin du Héron, Low (Québec) J0X 2C0
- 819 459-1244
- Commissioner Heather Egan / Ward 3
- 226, rue Argyle, Shawville, QC J0X 2Y0
- 819 647-6648
- Commissioner Laurie Garbutt / Ward 5
- 1359, Route 105, Chelsea (Québec) J9B 1P4
- 819 592-2719
- Commissioner Nick Giannakoulis / Parent Commissioner (Elementary)
- 38, rue de la Croisée, Gatineau (Québec) J9J 2S7
- 613 316-9923 or 819 682-1072
- Commissioner Joanne Labadie / Ward 11
- 1983, Route 148, Luskville (Québec) J0X 2G0
- 613 295-4908 or 819 455-2544
- Commissioner Shannon Lafond / Parent Commissioner (SEAC)
- 186, chemin Fraser, Gatineau, (Québec) J9H 6X4
- 613 240-8788 or 613 212-5030
- Commissioner Matthew Larventz / Ward 10
- 444 rue des Caravelles, Gatineau (Québec) J9J 2L8
- 819 329-9203
- Commissioner Michael McCrank / Ward 2
- 29, Church Road, R.R. 4, Campbell’s Bay (Québec) J0X 1K0
- 613 602-5762 or 819 648-5762
- Commissioner Chris Schaler / Ward 8
- 51, rue de Pierrefonds, Gatineau (Québec) J8T 7L8
- 819 568-5747
- Commissioner Norman Young / Ward 1
- 724, rue L’Anse, Kipawa (Québec) J0Z 2H0
- 819 627-6869 or 819 627-9379
Procedure to Attend or Participate
Council of Commissioner’s meetings are open to the public. Those wishing to address the Council may do so during the Public Participation Period, which is normally between 7 and 7:15 PM.
All individuals or groups wishing to ask questions or state their concerns during the Public Participation Period are asked to submit a request to Secretary General Terry Kharyati prior to the meeting.
School commissioners play a key role. Elected by the citizens, they determine the orientations of the school board, taking into consideration the interests of the students, parents and electors of their community.
Since the school board is an autonomous local government, the commissioners, who together make up the council of commissioners, exercise responsibilities comparable to those of municipal councillors.
Since 2014, the chairs of school boards are elected by universal suffrage, meaning that the electors choose the person who will chair their local school board.
The commissioner decides on the following matters:
- the orientations and priorities of the school board;
- educational and administrative policies;
- the school board’s strategic plan;
- the use of schools and training centres under the school board’s jurisdiction;
- the equitable distribution of human, material and financial resources among the schools and training centres;
- the school transportation policy (including fees and walking distances);
- summer courses offered and related fees;
- awarding of professional service contracts (eg. in architecture or engineering) or hygiene and sanitation service contracts;
- the budget orientations and expenses to be authorized;
- the Policy on School Daycare Services;
- affiliation with national or international organizations (e.g. International Baccalaureate) or withdrawal from these organizations;
- fees for renting out rooms or space to municipal or community organizations;
- social projects to prevent students from dropping out or to eliminate violence and bullying.
Become a Commissioner
Every person who is entitled to have his or her name entered on the list of electors and who, on polling day, has been domiciled on WQ territory for at least six months may be elected as a Commissioner. Notice will be given prior to the next elections, which are to be held on November 4, 2018. This notice will include all the information needed to file for nomination. For more information, refer to the Directeur Général des Élections du Québec.
Electoral divisions – The WQ territory is divided into 11 electoral divisions. Each division elects one commissioner.
Electors list – School democracy concerns all Western Quebecers. Parents of children attending a school, adults attending an adult education centre or a vocational training centre, and citizens who care about the vitality of their neighbourhood all have an interest in participating in the election process.
To be able to exercise your right to vote, you must first be registered on the permanent list of electors of the Directeur Général des Élections du Québec.
If you have one or more children enrolled at the WQSB, you will be registered for its elections by default, as long as you reside on its territory.
If you do not have children, or have children enrolled neither at the WQSB nor at the French-language school board serving your domicile, you will by default be entered on the list of electors of the French-language school board. However, you can always choose to enter the WQSB Electors list instead, by submitting a filled Opt-in Opt-out form to the General Directorate.
Each of the 30 WQ schools has its own Governing Board. It is made up of an equal number of staff members and parents. The Governing Board plays a crucial role in determining a school’s direction and works in conjunction with the school Principal.
The Governing Board is responsible for approving and overseeing a variety of issues including educational projects and the implementation of school budgets, regulation and student supervision policies. The Board is also involved in the choice of school textbooks and other instructional materials, school closures as well as the selection process for the appointment of the school Principal and confessional status.
For more information about a specific school’s Governing Board, contact it or visit its website.
The Parents’ Committee is an advisory committee to the School Board. Each school within the Board’s territory has a representative on the committee chosen from the parent members sitting on each Governing Board. A representative from the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) also sits on the Committee.
Its primary role consists of representing parents’ interests within the School Board. The main responsibilities are:
- to promote the participation of parents in School Board activities and committees;
- to advise the School Board on any matter the latter is required to submit to it;
- to advise the School Board on any matter conducive to the most efficient operation possible and;
- to inform the School Board as to the needs identified by the parent representatives.
Four Parent Commissioners, one for Elementary, one for Secondary, one for Kindergarten to 11 (K-11), and one from SEAC are elected from this committee to sit on the Council of Commissioners. One Parent Commissioner is also elected to sit on other committees of the School Board, such as Executive, Transportation, SEAC, Governance & Ethics, Audit, and Human Resources. Representation at the standing committee level is very important. It is at this level that many issues are raised, policies worked out and decisions taken for recommendation to the Council of Commissioners.
The Parents’ Committee is also to be consulted on the following matters:
- the division, annexation or amalgamation of the territory of the school board;
- the School Board’s strategic plan;
- the three-year plan of allocation and destination of the immovables of the School Board, the list of schools, and the deeds of establishment;
- the policy in respect to the “Continued operation or closing of schools”;
- the financial contribution policy;
- the distribution of educational services among the schools;
- the criteria referred to in section 239 for the enrolment of students in schools;
- the dedication of a school to a special project pursuant to section 240 and the criteria for the enrollment of students in that school;
- the school calendar;
- the rules governing promotion from elementary school to secondary school or from the first cycle to the second cycle of the secondary level;
- the objectives and principles governing the allocation of subsidies, school taxation proceeds and other revenues among educational institutions as well as the criteria pertaining thereto, and the objectives, principles and criteria used to determine the amount to be withheld by the School Board for its need and those of its committees;
- the learning activities established by the School Board and intended for parents.