Now more than ever, the inclusion of under-represented groups in the labour market is crucial for Quebec’s post-pandemic recovery and economic success. However, English speakers in Quebec continue to face higher unemployment rates and lower incomes than French speakers despite high levels of labour force participation and post-secondary education.

How can the economic potential of this community be unlocked? How can Quebec harness the skills and experience of its English speakers while at the same time protecting and promoting the French language?

Join the Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) for the 3rd edition of its annual conference that brings together leaders from various sectors working to improve the integration of Quebec’s English speakers into the labour market. This year's theme is Putting Language to Work, where we will explore how language and work intersect for English-speaking Quebecers and discuss solutions to address existing challenges.

The conference will be taking place virtually on November 16 and 17, 2022.





Employment issues and needs among Quebec’s English speakers

This panel will explore the employment and employability challenges facing today’s English-speaking communities.

Experts from organizations working to improve the employability of English-speaking Quebecers will share their perspectives from the field.


Learning French for the workforce in Quebec

French is the leading barrier to employment for English speakers in Quebec. This panel explores the dimensions of learning French to participate in Quebec’s labour market, including French-language training, French in the workplace and the role of schools, employers, and community organizations.


French in Quebec’s professional orders

There are 46 professional orders in Quebec who regulate professions such as nursing, social work, accounting and guidance counselling. In order to enter a regulated profession, individuals must demonstrate that they meet French-language proficiency requirements.

In this panel, speakers will discuss how French-language policies interact with regulated professions, and how English speakers looking to improve their French navigate this system.


Education to Employment in Quebec’s English-speaking communities

Despite high levels of educational attainment, English speakers in Quebec continue to face employment challenges as a linguistic group.

This panel will explore the relationship between education and employment for Quebec’s English speakers, and what solutions can be deployed to address the existing challenges and barriers.



day 1 | noVEMBER 16




Opening remarks

  • William Floch, Assistant Deputy Minister, Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise au ministère des Finances.
  • Nicholas Salter, Executive Director, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)


Keynote address

  • Dona Lewis, Deputy Chief Executive, National Centre for Learning Welsh




Panel: Employment issues and needs among Quebec’s English speakers 

Moderator: Sta Kuzviwanza, Director, Policy & Research, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)

  • Trina Bélanger, Employment Coordinator / Counselor, CRE Pointe-Claire
  • Allen Richards, Executive Director, CASA
  • Kassandra Kernisan, Executive Director, DESTA Black Youth Network


Day 1 recap

  • Sta Kuzviwanza, Director, Policy & Research, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)

day 2 | NOVEMBER 17




Day 2 introduction

  • Sta Kuzviwanza, Director, Policy & Research, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)


Panel: Learning French for the workforce in Quebec 

Moderator: Nicholas Salter, Executive Director, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)

  • Andréanne Gendron-Landry, Pedagogical Advisor, Cégep du Vieux-Montréal
  • Aki Tchitacov, Executive director, YES Employment + Entrepreneurship
  • Billy Walsh, Executive Director, Association des Société de Développement Commercial de Montreal
  • Adam Hall, French-Language Learner




Panel: French in Quebec’s professional orders 

Moderator: André Rousseau, General Manager, Cible Retour A L'Emploi

  • Heather Halman, Center Director, Vocational Training, CDC Point Viau
  • Waleed Al-Ahmad, French-Language Learner – Licensed Social Worker and Psychotherapist
  • Morgan Gagnon, Policy Researcher, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)




Panel: Education to employment in Quebec’s English-speaking communities 

Moderator: Lorraine O'Donnell, Research Associate, Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

  • Christine Grenier, Center Coordinator, Anchor Academic and Vocational Education Center
  • John Davids, Research Coordinator, Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)
  • Adrienne Winrow, Executive Director, Y4Y Québec
  • Angela Stevens, Dean of Faculty, Professional Services and Continuing Education, CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence


Closing remarks 

  • James Hughes, President and Chair, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)
  • Nicholas Salter, Executive Director, Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)


Dona Lewis

Deputy Chief Executive

National Centre for Learning Welsh

Dona developed her career by working in a range of positions for Mudiad Meithrin, the largest Welsh-medium early years care and education organisation, providing services to 20,000 children annually. In 2013 she was appointed Deputy Chief Executive for the organisation and was the acting Chief Executive before leaving in 2016 to join the National Centre for Learning Welsh. She is Deputy Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and leads the Planning and Development directorate, responsible for corporate quality, finance and innovative schemes such as Work Welsh and the new Scheme providing Learn Welsh opportunities for 16-25 year olds. Dona has led the sector's digital transformation which began with the development of a multimedia digital platform to give learners greater support and choices. Dona has been a Council Member for Adult Learning Wales since 2020, also serving on their Resources Committee.

William Floch

Assistant Deputy Minister

Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise au ministère des Finances

William Floch, Sous-ministre adjoint au Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise au ministère des Finances.

In November of 2017, William Floch was appointed as the first Secrétaire adjoint (Assistant Secretary) in the Ministère du Conseil exécutif and tasked with the responsibility of establishing the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise (SRQEA).

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Floch worked in the area of research and policy development for the Department of Canadian Heritage beginning in the early 1990s.

Before embarking on his career in government, Mr. Floch worked as a teacher and principal in the English-language school system in Quebec and also worked in the community sector for Townshippers’ Association in the Eastern Townships.

james hughes



James Hughes is the volunteer President and Chair of the Provincial Employment Roundtable (“PERT”). His full time job is in the homelessness sector as the President and CEO of the Old Mission Brewery. Previous roles include Executive Lead at the McConnell Foundation, President of the Graham Boeckh Foundation, Deputy Minister of Social Development for the Province of New Brunswick and Director-General of the Old Brewery Mission. His two books, both published by James Lorimer Canada, are Early Intervention (2015) and Beyond Shelters (2018). He is proudly the founding President of YES Montreal.

Allen richards



Allen's experience in community and economic development spans over 20 years. He has led mobilization, planning and partnership-building initiatives in communities throughout Quebec. With his expertise in human resource development and long-term results focused planning, he now serves as CASA's Executive Director.

Trina Bélanger

Employment Coordinator / Counselor

CRE Pointe-Claire

Trina Belanger is a military spouse who has over 25 years of experience working in the

education system and employment services. She has worked in different provinces in Canada as well as different countries such as the United States and Germany. Throughout her travels, she has been involved in several projects with many different schools and employment centers. Some of her achievements have been: creating new English language curriculum for the Commission scolaire des Draveurs in Gatineau, developing a site base plan for a rural school in Nova Scotia, coordinating physical education program for a British school in Germany, and working on a new youth employment strategy in Ontario. Her current position is Coordinator for the Centre de recherche d’emploi de Pointe Claire and she has been part of the Employment Service Sectoral Table with PERT for two years.

Kassandra Kernisan

Executive Director

DESTA Black Youth Network

Kassandra Kernisan holds an MBA from HEC Montreal and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University with a specialization in marketing. She has 15+ years of experience in corporate marketing, business management, non-profit leadership and entrepreneurship.

She is currently the Executive Director of DESTA Black Youth Network, a charitable organization that offers access to a hub of services and partnerships that empower the Black community through programs rooted in social and economic justice.

Sta Kuzviwanza

director, policy & research

provincial employment roundtable (pert)

Sta is a policy researcher and analyst with a background in economics and technology policy. Sta previously worked as the policy lead for Quebec at Airbnb Canada and as a consultant providing policy analysis to organizations in the private and public sectors. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Max Bell School of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s in Economics and African Studies from McGill University.

Andréanne Gendron-Landry

pedagogical advisor

cégep du Vieux Montréal

Ms. Andréanne Gendron-Landry holds a Master's degree in second language didactics and is currently a pedagogical advisor at the CEGEP du Vieux Montréal in the language center and in project development. She has extensive knowledge of several French as a second language reference programs (the Canadian Language Benchmark, the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français (MIFI) and the CEFR). Ms. Gendron-Landry has participated in the development of several French as a second language materials as well as in the design of courses for professional purposes. She specializes in innovative and meaningful online courses, the development of interactive pedagogical applications, and the improvement of course offerings in businesses.

Aki Tchitacov


YES Employment + Entrepreneurship

Aki P. Tchitacov began his mandate as Executive Director of YES in August of 2018 following a diverse career in community development. Raised in Montreal, he holds a Master of Arts degree in public administration and public policy from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from McGill University. He started his community work in 1989 as director of community development at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) YMCA, before eventually becoming the executive director of the NDG YMCA, and later the Point Saint-Charles YMCA. Subsequently, he has held leadership positions with Le Bon Dieu Dans la rue (Dans la rue), including Executive Director, and with the city of Montreal, where he served as Chief of Staff to the borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (CDN-NDG).

Billy walsh


Association des Société de Développement Commercial de Montreal

Billy Walsh is the Executive Director of the Association des SDC de Montréal. An association that brings together 24 commercial territories and more than 15,000 merchant members of all origins and all types of activities.

The ASDCM is a service provider to SDCs and their members and acts on the vitality and sustainability of Montreal's commercial areas.

Billy Walsh also worked for more than 10 years in the television and film industry between 2000 and 2010 and was the director of the SDC Wellington from 2010 to 2022.

adam hall

French-Language Learner

Adam Hall recently moved to Quebec from BC and is currently working with ARC as the You and Employment Coordinator. He studied French 20 years ago at the UQAC in Saguenay but didn’t have the opportunity to use it much until his move here. He recently partook in the French for the Workforce course offered by YES Montreal and is here to speak more about his experience as a French learner in Quebec.




Nick Salter is the Executive Director at the Provincial Employment Roundtable. He is an experienced leader with expertise in public policy, communications, and stakeholder engagement.

Prior to directing the Provincial Employment Roundtable, Nick helped launch and build McGill University's Max Bell School of Public Policy. Before that, he worked in open government and open data as Director of Policy and Communications at Powered by Data. Nick has also been involved in federal politics — leading the team of a Member of Parliament and advising regional teams.

Nick's has over a decade of experience working with foundations, boards, community organizations, health and social services agencies, higher education institutions, and multiple levels of government.

He holds an MSW in International and Community Development, a BA in Psychology, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management. Nick is also a past fellow of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy.

Heather Halman

Centre Director, Vocational Training

CDC Pont Viau

Heather Halman has over 25 years of experience in education both as a teacher and an administrator in the public sector. She has held the positions of teacher, vice-principal and principal in the youth sector. She has also held School Board level positions as Assistant Director and then Director of Educational Services, Strategic Plan Advisor and Service Director for Adult and Vocational Education. She has been the Center Director of Adult Education and is currently the Director of Vocational Training at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

Ms. Halman has been a member of the Directors of English Education Network, the Advisory Board on English Education, a member of sub committees of the Superior Council of Education, Vice Chair-person of Procede, QACVE, as well as Chairperson of the Procede Conference. She is currently the president of the SWLSB local of AQCS .

Waleed Al-Ahmad

French-language learner – licensed social worker and psychotherapist

Waleed lived, studied, and worked in 4 different countries which gave him enriching exposure to different cultures. He has a master's degree in social work and a second master's degree, in couple and family therapy. He has diverse work experience in different settings including, child psychiatry, youth protection, and community-based social services, and with different populations including neurodiverse adults, refugees, LGBTQ+, and Indigenous people. He’s now a licensed psychotherapist with his own private practice.

Morgan Gagnon

policy researcher

provincial employment roundtable (pert)

Morgan Gagnon is a skilled researcher and policy analyst with a background in Quebec higher education policy and theories of institutional responsibility. She recently completed her master’s degree in philosophy at Concordia University, where she held a SSHRC scholarship for her research on university sexual violence policies and accessibility to education. Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor of Arts at Bishop’s University, where she gained extensive experience building relationships with community and regional partners.

André Rousseau



Ever since I’ve been involved with some form whatsoever of counselling either youths or more senior citizens, I’ve always tried to find a way to empower the individuals with whom I worked so that they turn out to be better equipped to deal with oncoming challenges they may have to face. This is what got me into employability services in the first place. The desire to assist someone with gaining more independence is what’s been keeping me moving since 1998 when I first got a taste of employability working with troubled youths at Ressources Jeunesse Saint-Laurent. I then went on to my present organisation, Cible Retour à l’Emploi in 2000 and have been the Executive Director there since.

It is in this capacity that I’ve met with the staff and partners at YES Montreal with whom I share many years of collaboration from as early as 2002 when I first met James Hughes at a YES event. When the opportunity came around to step up at the plate and contribute in my own way to the continuing work of the YES-founded and hosted English Service Providers Employment Round Table as it’s new acting Chair, I simply couldn’t stand idly by. And so, with the new emerging entity known as the Provincial Employment Round Table or PERT, I naturally agreed to participate by sitting on the Steering Committee and accepting to become part of it’s new Board of Directors.

John Davids

Research Coordinator

Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)

John Davids is the Research Coordinator at the Black Community Resource Center (BCRC). Since 2020, he has studied the vitality of Quebec's English-speaking Black Community and played a key role in both the Black in Quebec Project and the Education to Employability Study (done in collaboration with PERT Quebec).He holds an M.A. in Political Science (from York University) and his areas of interest include International Relations, Human Rights in both domestic and international contexts, and researching marginalized and minority communities.

Christine Grenier

Center Coordinator

Anchor Academic and Vocational Education Center

My first encounter with the Eastern Shores School Board was as a student in a vocational program which I completed at the Hopetown Vocational Education Center. After completing my training, I was hired as the center secretary for a couple of years. Following that, I was promoted to work as an office agent at the board office, a position I held for 7 years, after which, I was offered the position of center coordinator at the same center, Hopetown, where I was a student and secretary. I have worked 15 years now as a center coordinator of an Adult and Vocational Education Center. In total, I have been in education for 25 years now, all with Eastern Shores. My career path has given me a 360 degree view of Adult Education, from student to center coordinator, it is a huge asset for me in dealing with my students, teachers and colleagues.

Adrienne Winrow


Y4Y Québec

Adrienne has served as Executive Director of Youth4Youth Quebec since 2019. Her past professional and volunteer experiences have allowed her to explore different career paths, but a commitment to youth leadership and empowerment is the common thread. A lifelong learner, Adrienne has earned various certifications related to non-profit management since the completion of her BA in PoliSci, and will continue to pursue educational opportunities in the future. For now, supporting the academic success of her two children is priority # 1, and a privilege unlike any other.

Angela Stevens

Dean of Faculty, Professional Services, and Continuing EducationPROVINCIAL

CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence

Angela Stevens has a long career in education and has worked at Cegep Champlain-St. Lawrence for over 20 years. She began her career at St. Lawrence as a teacher, followed by pedagogical counsellor and has held the position of Dean of Faculty, Professional Services and Continuing Education for five years.

Angela has developed a deep understanding of student motivation and success through her extensive experience in working with academic programs and departments, and help services professionals. Angela is highly involved in the St. Lawrence community and especially appreciates the interactions she is fortunate to have with the engaged student population of St. Lawrence.

Angela has gained further knowledge in lifelong learning in adult education through her supervision of the Continuing Education Department at St. Lawrence and her participation in regional partnerships with Laval University and the French-language Cegeps of Quebec City for the development of continuing education services in both credited and non-credited trainings. She strongly believes in lifelong learning for herself and has most recently pursued studies in management with the Harvard Business School.

Lorraine O’Donnell

Affiliate Assistant Professor,

School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University,

Research Associate, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

Lorraine O’Donnell has a Ph.D. in History (McGill), a Master's in History (York), and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (Concordia). She is Research Associate at the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), where since 2008 she has led day-to-day operations. Before that, she worked as archivist, researcher, teacher, and public historian. In 2015, she became an Affiliate Assistant Professor with Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs.

Lorraine's research focus is Canadian women's history and history/heritage projects that involve and help build communities. She has contributed to English-speaking Quebec history exhibits on the topics of immigration, Jewish and Irish communities, social movements, and housewives.

want to learn about unlocking the economic potential of the English-speaking communities of Quebec?



1001 Lenoir Street, suite B338

Montreal, QC H4C 2Z6

Telephone (toll-free): 1-855-773-7885

Email: info@pertquebec.ca

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