Criminologist by training, Jean-Pierre Charbonneau was first an investigative journalist with the daily newspapers Le Devoir and La Presse, where he deals among other things with the coverage of organized crime and corruption. In 1976, he made a leap into provincial politics and was elected for Verchères in the National Assembly. In 1989, he left politics and went to Rwanda, where he was regional director of the Canadian Organization for Solidarity and Development (OCSD). Following the outbreak of the war, he returned to Quebec and, in 1994, he returned to active politics and presented himself in the new riding of Borduas.
In 1996, he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly, a position he held for six years. During this period, he also served as Chair of the National Assembly Commission and the Subcommittee on Parliamentary Reform (1999-2002). During his 30-year political career, Mr. Charbonneau was, among other things, spokesperson for the official opposition in matters of the environment (1987-1988), public safety (2003-2006) and health (2005-2006). He also chaired various parliamentary committees in the areas of youth (1981-1982), education and manpower (1984-1985) and economics and labor ( 1986-1989).
Since retiring from politics, Jean-Pierre Charbonneau has been a political analyst for RDI’s Club des Ex, a commentator, speaker and strategic advisor for various organizations. His analyzes and his talent as an extensionist lead him regularly to intervene in the public sphere, particularly on issues of ethics, leadership, public affairs and international cooperation.
John Parisella, who has a degree in education, has spent the first years of his career teaching history at the English Montréal School Board and is passionate about politics. However, it was during the assassination of John F. Kennedy that he decided to get involved in active politics at the provincial level. He started out as an organizer in his riding and quickly rose through the ranks to become president of the Quebec Liberal Party and then chief of cabinet for Premiers Robert Bourassa, Daniel Johnson, Claude Ryan and Jean Charest. He was later assigned several responsibilities, including Chief Negotiator for a land claim made by the Mohawks of Kahnawake in 2008 and Delegate General of Quebec in New York in 2009.
After that, Mr. Parisella became President of BCP and BCP Consultants. As a renowned communicator, he has been a regular guest on public affairs programs in recent years, giving his opinion, among other things, on issues of American politics. Mr. Parisella has taught at Concordia University in the John Molson School of Business, the School of Public Affairs and Community Affairs and the Department of Political Science. He now works for the public relations firm National.
Rejean Parent graduate in Physical education at the Université de Montréal, and taught the subject at the Commission scolaire des patriotes. Mr. Parent has been a major player in the sector of education, including involvement in the labor movement where he has held various positions. He was elected vice-president of the Champlain Teachers’ Union in 1980 and became president in 1984, a position he held until his election as head of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ). He will held the position of President of the CSQ for a period of three terms and nearly 10 years.
Mr. Parent has taken part in numerous councils and committees, including the FTQ Solidarity Fund, the First Minister’s Committee on Public Finance and the Gervais Committee on Access to the Same Quality of Education Across Quebec. Having devoted his heart to Quebec’s development and his emancipation, Réjean parent does not hesitate to put his ideas on the public square. He is a contributor to the Journal de Montréal and regularly writes columns on political news.
Catherine is the director of CIVIX-Québec in Montreal. Originally from Rimouski, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Laval University in Quebec City. She moved to Alberta after graduating to support French immersion teachers and to act as a substitute teacher in elementary and high schools. As a result of her participation and volunteer work for the Forum for Young Canadians, Catherine had the opportunity to give back to the organization when she became the Manager of Programs and Outreach. Working with young Canadians has shown her, over the years, the significant impact that youth can have on their communities across the country. In 2016, Catherine joined CIVIX as Director of Quebec and Francophone Communities. Since the summer of 2017, she is leading the new CIVIX’s Quebec office, which aims to develop innovative programs to better serve Québec educators who teach democracy and civic education in their classrooms.
François Bourque is the Program Manager at CIVIX-Québec. Originally from Québec City, François Bourque studied at Laval University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science and a specialized graduate diploma in college education. Over the years, François has developed a passion for politics and young people, by being, among other thing, a substitute at Séminaire Saint-François. This experience made him realize the lack of students’ knowledge in politics. It is also this same interest for young people and politics that led him to become a professor at the State University and Human Sciences of Russia where he taught the French second language, Civilization of Quebec and Political news in Canada. François joined the CIVIX-Québec team in 2017 where he works to support the programs development.
Anne-Sophie Spiranski is a young French girl who grew up all around the world. After a few years in the United States, she moved to Mexico. 7 years later she found herself in Russia where, after finishing her French baccalaureate (equivalent to CÉGEP in Quebec), she decided to learn Russian at Moscow State University for one year. Fascinated by politics, which inevitably affected her life abroad, it became her greatest passion. In 2014, she came to Canada to study at McGill University in Montreal, where she also had the chance to follow an exchange program at Waseda University in Tokyo in spring of 2017. Upon her return from Japan, she began volunteering within the Montreal community. Thanks to her involvement, she realized how open-minded Canadians were and the importance of voicing ones opinions. She thus decided to make Quebec her new home. With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (and minors in International Development and Russian) she became Project Coordinator for CIVIX-Quebec in the summer of 2018.
Dana Cotnareanu has an academic background in Political Science and in Anthropology. She recently completed her master’s thesis at Université de Montréal on the representation of minorities in national historiography. Her research focused on history education in schools across Romania. Dana has gained experience in several non-profit organizations, working in various areas such as research, communications, fundraising, and event planning. Her latest project was in New Delhi for UNESCO MGIEP, a research institute aiming, among other things, to integrate socio-emotional learning into education systems and to innovate digital pedagogies. She joined the CIVIX-Québec team in early 2019.