Candidate Q&A: French public board (CEPEO)

Here’s the next in our series of questionnaires from the candidates in the upcoming city council and school board elections.  (Click here for all of our election coverage.)

Stittsville is in Zone 12 of the French public school board (le Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario).  Elementary students attend Maurice Lapointe in Bridlewood and high school students attend Omer-Deslauriers in Nepean near Merivale Road and Viewmount (the former J.S. Woodsworth high school).  A new french public high school is scheduled to open in Bridlewood next fall.

The candidates in this district are Patricia Chehadé and Linda Savard. We’ve included their answers in the languages that they provided below.


Patricia Chehadé
Patricia Chehadé

CHEHADÉ: Once during a heated meeting, I heard a parent exclaim with great passion “things have to change damn it”. It was then that my passion to see our education system want to grow and evolve into it’s full potential was born. I was always taught never to be afraid of change “that’s how good things become great”. I believe that I can bring the change our students and our parents want to see in the French public education system. This is why I decided to run for the position of school board trustee.

Linda Savard
Linda Savard

SAVARD:  Je désire être réélu comme conseillère scolaire au conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) car au cours des derniers quatre ans nous avons fait beaucoup de progrès pour améliorer les infrastructures scolaires dans l’ouest de la ville et le travail n’est pas terminé. La table politique est plus que jamais sensibilisée aux besoins des francophones de l’ouest de la ville et il ne faut surtout pas arrêter le travail maintenant.

In the last four years we made significant progress to increase the awareness among politicians about the needs of the francophone communities in the west-end of Ottawa.



CHEHADÉ: I’m a student, and who better to understand and represent the students then one herself? I’ve always been an active member in our community, whether by volunteering at the Ottawa Mission, being an essential asset to the student council, being co-president of International uOttawa, a club with the purpose of breaking down culture barriers to unite the community as one, or taking time to meet with parents and listen to their concerns. I have been present in working towards a better and changing community.

SAVARD:  Au cours des derniers quatre ans, j’ai siégé comme conseillère scolaire représentant l’ouest de la ville à la table du CEPEO. J’ai été tour à tour présidente de plusieurs comités; vérification, immobilisations et affaires et depuis cette année je suis vice-présidente du Conseil. Auparavant, j’ai été présidente pendant quatre ans du conseil de l’école élémentaire publique que fréquentait mon fils dans la communauté de Barrhaven. Je suis bien au fait des besoins de la communauté de l’ouest de la ville et j’ai l’écoute et le respect de mes collègues autour de la table du Conseil.

I have been the school trustee representing the west-end of Ottawa for the CEPEO since 2010. During that time, I have been President of the Audit Committee, the Construction Committee and the Priorities and Means Committee.  Since 2013, I have been chosen by my peers to act as the Vice-president of the Board. I am very aware of the needs of the francophone living in the west-end of Ottawa and I am listened to and well respected by the Board members.




CHEHADÉ: While the French Public school board requires many changes in order to provide our students with the education suitable for this generation. Traffic between borders (Stittsville-Kanata) is a big concern at drop off and pick up, it would therefore I would like to work towards a more efficient, safe and reliable transport that would answer to the needs of the students. Furthermore, as a growing community, it is important for the school board to evolve along with this community to better meet the demands of the parents and students. Finally, I will take the pledge to support childcare; environmental initiatives and work closely with city councillors in order promote the importance bilingual services in Stittsville.

SAVARD: Les principaux défis que nous rencontrons dans les communautés scolaires de l’ouest d’Ottawa sont la surpopulation de nos écoles, la difficulté d’obtenir des fonds de la province pour la construction de nouvelles installations scolaires et la difficulté de recenser les familles francophones localisées dans les nouveaux développements domiciliaires.

Depuis quatre ans, grâce à mon implication à la table du conseil, le CEPEO est  beaucoup plus proactif auprès de la province afin d’obtenir des fonds pour l’agrandissement des installations existantes et la construction de nouvelles installations scolaires. Nous devons cependant continuer dans cette voie.

Le dossier du recensement des francophones et un dossier beaucoup plus difficile à solutionner et nous travaillons de concert avec l’Office des affaires francophones et le ministère des Affaires municipales et du logement de l’Ontario afin de trouver des solutions durables.

The main challenges are the overcrowded schools in the west-end of Ottawa communities, the difficulty to obtain provincial funds to build or expand our facilities and the difficulty to obtain valid census data on the number of francophone families living in the new residential developments.

Over the last four years, because of my work on the Board Council, the CEPEO has been much more proactive and successful in obtaining funds to build and expand our facilities in the west end of Ottawa. We must continue on the same path.

The difficulty in obtaining valid census data is much more challenging, and we are working with the Office des affaires francophones de l’Ontario and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to find long-term solutions to this problem.



OVER TO YOU READERS:  What issues are important to you in this election?  What do you think of the candidates’ answers to these questions?  Add your comments below or email




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