Donnelly steps down from VEQ Klassen takes on job

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Photo: Patrick Tomlinson

From left to right: Voice of English-speaking Québec executive director Helen Walling, former president Bob Donnelly and newly elected president John Klassen at Monday night’s board meeting.

Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ) president Bob Donnelly has resigned. Donnelly has been wearing two rather large hats since being elected president of the Quebec Community Groups Network last June. He will remain a member of the executive.

Donnelly, who has taken leave from most of his teaching duties at Cegep Champlain-St. Lawrence, is often travelling for QCGN business.

John Klassen has stepped up to assume the presidency of the organization until the annual general meeting in the spring.

“There’s not going to be a change in direction,” said Klassen, a mathematics teacher at Cegep Champlain-St. Lawrence. “I think VEQ has been doing a decent job. I don’t see any big change.”

On Donnelly’s resignation, Klassen said, “Bob did a great job as president. The amount of time he spent was amazing. Rarely have we had a president with that much time to offer; he has a lot of expertise in leadership. He will still be with us.”

Donnelly’s job with the Montreal-based English-language community organization umbrella group takes him to headquarters in the metropolis as well as Ottawa and elsewhere for meetings.

Both vice-presidents, Bill Donnelly and Ed Slattery, were unable to take on the position at this time.
“We have a lot of expertise on the board. I’ll have a lot of people to advise me,” said Klassen, who has one year remaining of his mandate on VEQ’s board of directors.

VEQ still petitioning CanWest Global

Klassen also heads up the committee looking into the cuts at Global Television Québec. VEQ is still collecting names online for its petition to the owners of CanWest Global.

“We’ve exceeded the 500 mark,” said Klassen. “We have about 520 signatures now. We’re going to get in touch with Maureen Rogers (general manager of Global Québec) to see if we can push this thing along, see what response we get from her.”

The organization’s next move will depend in part on Global’s reaction.