Your Council Insider for September 25, 2018

Here’s a summary of the matters discussed at the September 25 meeting of the Council of Commissioners. To learn more about the Council of Commissioners, visit the Governance page.

Chair’s Report

The Chairman of the Board, James Shea, recognized the excellent effort of the Western Québec community in assuming leadership in responding to the tornado that impacted so many our students, neighbours and their families.

Along with his semimonthly chair’s report, he also distributed a report on his participation in the National Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education on July 6 & 7 in Halifax.

Director General’s Report

Director General Mike Dubeau personally thanked the tireless and exemplary work that the Buildings team has done to ensure a safe and secure return for our learners and staff. Many admins & team members worked through the weekend following the passage of the tornado.

He also shared his and his team’s excitement towards the Lab-École project at PETES, one of only seven in the whole province. The Lab-École committee, including parents, elected officials, school board administrator and members of the provincial Lab-École team, met at the school on Friday September 7. All have left truly inspired by the challenges ahead.

Finally, Director General Dubeau reported on the Teacher Induction Program for school year 2017-2018. Under his direction, 58 Mentor-Coaches and two part-time consultants supported a total of 107 new teachers (70 first year, 37 second) in 25 of our schools.

Commitment to Success Plan

A first version of the board’s new Commitment to Success plan was approved and signed by the commissioners back in June. Assistant Director General Ruth Ahern presented a new version today with 3 minor edits. The new version was approved unanimously. The Plan will be available on the board’s website shortly.


A bit of context: Back in June, the Council of Commissioners had passed resolution C-17/18-193, authorizing Director of Buildings Technology & Archives Pascal Proulx to award contracts and sign all necessary documents over the summer period before presenting them to Council. This was done to ensure the smooth delivery of renovation, demolition or installation projects in time for the beginning of the school year 2018-2019. This explains why many of the projects presented below were underway during the summer, even if they were only properly presented to the commissioners at the September meeting.
Renovation Project Over Budget at Poltimore

The project aiming at renovating the students washroom was approved by Council in April in the amount of $149 999 excluding taxes. Over the summer, 5 different modifications were needed for this project: asbestos removal, hand dryers, an additional conduit for the door access system, an infrastructure adjustment and a last one to pass a water line over to the gymnasium. These modifications, together, total $14 850, representing a 9.9% increase. Buildings staff have now discovered that the roof insulation is made of Urea-Formaldehyde (MIUF), which represents health concerns. Addressing this issue will bring the cost of all modifications more than 10% over the original project cost. Over the 10% threshold, a special authorization from Council is required to continue a project. Under the recommendation of Contract Rules Compliance Monitor Leanne Gray, Procurement Officer Alain Gendron and Director of Buildings, Technology & Archives Pascal Proulx, the Council has authorized these additional costs.

Poltimore’s New Gym

Council has approved a bid from Défi Construction et Fils in the amount of $1 747 276 for the construction of a gymnasium at Poltimore Elementary School. This was the second public call for tender for this project. This project is funded entirely through the Ministry’s measure 50511.

Other Projects
  • Rehabilitation of the North Exit at Centre l’Envol for $78 264. Only one conformed bid was received.
  • Special Classroom adapted to students recognized by the Ministry as Élèves handicapés ou en difficulté d’adaptation ou d’apprentissage at the senior campus of Lord Aylmer Elementary for $119 980. This was the lowest of 2 bids.
  • Replacement of Generator at St. John’s Elementary for $147 007. This was the lowest of 4 bids.
  • Upgrading to Digital Thermostat Controls at the admin centre for $85 000. Only one conformed bid was received.
  • Refusal of all bids received for the demolition of the chalet at Wakefield Elementary, as they are all over budget.
  • Refusal of a bid received for excavation work as part of the Embelissement des cours d’écoles project at Chelsea Elementary. The only bid received was over budget.
Membership to Student Sports Associations

The council unanimously approved that the WQSB become a member of 2 different student sports associations: Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec en Outaouais, and Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. By becoming a participating member, the board wishes to acknowledge the goals set by these associations.

Person Responsible for Access to Information

Following the nomination of Alain Gendron as Secretary General of the Western Québec School Board at the last meeting, Council has now approved his designation as person responsible for access to information requests.

Sale of Autobus Outaouais Bus Routes

Autobus Outaouais is one of 4 transport companies under contract with the board for the transport of its students to and from school. The company has informed our board of its intention to sell or transfer 46 bus routes, for which it needs the approval of Council. As we are not aware of any reasonable motive that could justify not granting this approval, commissioners have unanimously approved the request.

Composition of Maniwaki Woodland’s Governing Board

Considering that the student population has increased significantly in the last few years, Council has approved the request of Principal Ryan Woodhouse that the number of parent participants on the governing board be increased from 4 to 6, that the number of teacher participants be increased from 2 to 3, support staff from 1 to 2 and professional staff from 0 to 1. Director General Mike Dubeau congratulated the community’s desire to get more involved.

Class Action Against Québec School Boards

As part of the agreement in principle approved by the Québec Superior Court on July 30, Council has designated an external webmaster (Société GRICS) and an external auditor (Collectiva services en recours collectifs inc.). Western Québec will be working with them in complying with the terms of the agreement.


Disclaimer – This information is provided solely as a short summary of the matters discussed at the Council of commissioners meeting. This summary is provided in the spirit of transparency, and it will in no way replace the official minutes of this meeting, which are usually approved at the following meeting, and made available online shortly thereafter. In the case of a conflict between the information provided here and the approved official minutes, the latter takes precedence.

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