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Advisory Committee on French-Language Postsecondary Education for Central and Southwestern Ontario

Archived Backgrounder

Advisory Committee on French-Language Postsecondary Education for Central and Southwestern Ontario

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

In Oct. 2013, the province released its Action Plan for French-language postsecondary education in central and southwestern Ontario. The plan included establishing an advisory body on French-language education to advise the government on how to strengthen French-language postsecondary education in these regions.

The advisory committee includes student group representatives as well as experts from the college, university, community, education, business, immigration, adult education and health sectors.


Gisèle Chrétien is the chair of the board of directors of TFO. She has also served as the francophone representative on the board of directors of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Prior to these roles, Ms. Chrétien was the president of Collège Boréal in Sudbury from 1998 to 2006. She was also vice president of programs and academic support at Collège Boréal, dean of community and health services, and director of health services at Cambrian College. Ms. Chrétien has in-depth knowledge of the needs and challenges faced by French-language and bilingual postsecondary institutions and served as a member of the Expert Panel on French‑Language Postsecondary Education in Central and Southwestern Ontario.

Dr. Stacy Churchill founded the Centre de recherches en éducation franco-ontarienne (CRÉFO) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where he was also a member of the board of governors, as well as the research and development coordinator for all research programs. As an expert in education policy and education for francophone minorities, Dr. Churchill's research has greatly contributed to education policies for francophones, the federal official languages policy and the advancement of constitutional rights for francophones.At the international level, Dr. Churchill was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Educational Planning and Senior Fellow at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Dr. Churchill participated in UNICEF and UNESCO missions in over 35 countries as a senior consultant in education. He was also a member of the Expert Panel on French-Language Postsecondary Education in Central and Southwestern Ontario.

Geneviève Couillard is currently the executive director of the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO). With a diploma in visual arts. she first became involved with FESFO as visual arts coordinator. In 1999, she became the organization's special project coordinator on violence against women and has been executive director since 2005. She is also active on various boards, including for the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC), la Nouvelle Scène, the SAW Gallery, Horizons Renaissance, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO) and the Council for the Arts in Ottawa.

Annie Dell is theregional director of the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de l'Ontario (RDÉE) for central and southwestern Ontario, where she promotes the economic development of francophone communities. Ms. Dell has a long history of working for the advancement of French-language education in a minority setting. As a four-term school trustee in Toronto, she played an active role in the creation of new French-language schools and daycare centres. She was also a board member of the College Compensation and Appointments Council from 2008 to 2010. Annie Dell has been very active at the community level,as president of ACFO Toronto, vice president of the City of Toronto's French Committee, executive member of the Salon du livre de Toronto, executive member of the Club Canadien, and within organizations involved in the areas of education and socio-economic development.

Diane Dubois, a native of Welland, has been fully invested in francophone issues in central and southwestern Ontario for the last 30 years. Until recently, Mrs. Dubois was the associate vice-president of teaching for central and southwestern Ontario at Collège Boréal. Prior to joining Collège Boréal, she was the director of linguistic services for the 2001 Canada Summer Games. She also worked as a consultant for the department of Canadian Heritage in 2003 as director of community and business services for central and southwestern Ontario. Her active involvement in the francophone community includes her work with the Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs and the Ontario Trillium Foundation's grant evaluation team for the London region.

Gyslaine Hunter-Perreault has been the director of education and secretary treasurer for the Viamonde School Board since 2010. Prior to her appointment, she also held the positions of associate executive director, superintendent, elementary and secondary school principal and teacher. Ms. Hunter-Perreault also worked at the elementary, secondary, college and university levels in Québec. Student development and the expansion of French in a minority setting are among her top priorities.

Maxim Jean-Louis is the president and chief executive officer of Contact Nord (Contact North), a distance education and training network for college and university students. Prior to this appointment in 1996, Mr. Jean-Louis served in various senior management roles for Athabasca University. He also serves on the executive committee of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, the board of directors of Computers for Schools - Ontario,and the board of directors of the Canadian Polar Commission. In 2011, Mr. Jean-Louis was a special advisor to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities regarding the Ontario Online initiative. He is a former member of Ontario's Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board,past chair of the World University Service of Canada's board of directors and former Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network board member. Mr. Jean-Louis was also a member of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada - Francophone Minority Communities steering committee.

Jacques Kenny is the executive director of the Erie St. Clair/South West French Language Health Planning Entity, a position that he has held since 2011. Prior to this role, Mr. Kenny was the supervisor of continuing education at St. Clair College. He also held various executive positions at the Collège des Grands-Lacs, including director of the Windsor campus, dean of adult learning, director of international programs, and director of human resources. Mr. Kenny has been very active within the community as founder and president of the Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic, president of the Windsor-Essex-Kent Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), director of the provincial ACFO, school trustee, founder and president of the Windsor-Essex-Kent Francophone Community Centre (Place Concorde), and member of the Windsor Regional Hospital's board of directors. He was also president of the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de l'Ontario (RDÉE Ontario) from 2008 to 2011, and served on this organization's board of directors at the national level. Currently, Mr. Kenny is a member of the board of directors of Children's Mental Health Ontario.

Claude Lajeunesse is a member of the board and chair of the Human Resources and Governance Committee of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. He was president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada from 2008 through 2011. He is a former president and vice chancellor of Concordia University in Montreal and Ryerson University in Toronto. Mr. Lajeunesse served as a member of the boards of TD Insurance - Meloche Monnex, East General Hospital, Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation Foundation, Green Aviation Research and Development Network, and many other national organizations. He was president and is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Claude Lajeunesse is also honorary president of Ryerson University

Geneviève Latour is a co-chair of the Regroupement étudiant franco-ontarien (RÉFO) and was one of its founding members. She has been involved with the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) since secondary school, first as regional representative, then as vice president, and later as an employee. She has a BA in women's studies and political science from the University of Ottawa and is one of the founding members of the Centre d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS). She is currently completing a certificate in business administration at La Cité collégiale.

Jacques Naud is thevice president of sales and distribution at Knowledge First Financial. He was vice president, commercial and personal banking at the National Bank of Canada. Mr. Naud has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, where he held various senior management positions. In addition to his professional activities, he is actively involved in the community, particularly in business, education and health. Mr. Naud chairs the follow-up committee of the Pan-Canadian Forum on Economic Development in the Canadian Francophonie and serves on the board of directors of the Théâtre français de Toronto, the Alliance Française de Toronto, and the Club Canadien de Toronto.

Wesley Romulus, a former teacher, was vice president of Toronto's Collège Boréal from 2002 to 2006 and past national director of International Child Care Canada Inc. (Canada and Haiti). He has also worked for the federal department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, York University's Glendon College and Revenue Canada. He is currently the president of Ampil Solutions Inc, a consulting firm that he founded.

Denis Vaillancourt is the president of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO), a position he has held since October 2010. He has been actively involved in the education field for more than 39 years, having worked as a teacher, school principal, school board trustee, superintendent of education and director of education, as well as the assistant deputy minister responsible for French-language education with the Ministry of Education from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Vaillancourt is very involved in the Francophone community, including the Réseau des services de santé en français de l'Est de l'Ontario, the Club Richelieu, the Club Optimiste, and his parish in Rockland.

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