By Gordon Lambie
The Presidents of two significant organizations for English-speaking Quebecers both announced their departures this weekend. Gerald Cutting made his announcement at the Townshippers’ annual general meeting on Friday, one day after Marlene Jennings stepped down as President of the Quebec Community Groups Network.
In both cases, the departing presidents acknowledged that this is a busy time for their respective organizations and emphasized their faith in those remaining to continue the work.
“I don’t want to make people feel that the major organizations are giving up,” Cutting told The Record on Sunday, recognizing the fact that the timing of the two departures could be seen as some kind of retreat in the face of the recent passage of the province’s language law reform, Bill 96, while also stressing the fact that both Townshippers and QCGN are far more than their respective presidents.
In a recent edition of the QCGN’s network newsletter, Jennings shared that a two-year term was her goal from the start.
“The past two years have been a whirlwind of activity with substantial upheaval to both provincial and federal language legislation,” Jennings wrote. “The QCGN has and continues to be a crucial and constructive voice during emotional and sometimes divisive debates.”
In Cutting’s case, the term has been much longer than two years, but with a record-setting 12 years at the head of Townshippers’ under his belt and some significant changes underway in the organization, the outgoing president said that he felt this was the right time to make a change.
“I feel very good about the decision,” he said, adding that as far as he is concerned the new leadership team is composed of dynamic and passionate individuals who “know the association inside and out.”
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