Seniors Actions Quebec - Our Team

Seniors Action Quebec is a non-profit organization that is run by volunteers and led by our board members. Our team and board members consist of the following people:

Honorary Directors

Dr. Sheila Goldbloom
Hon. Clifford Lincoln
Mr. Casper Bloom

Advisory Committee:

David F. Cassidy
Constance Middleton-Hope
Russ Kueber
Paule Langevin
Martin Murphy
Richard Silver
Anne Usher
Bob Venafro

Board of Directors:

Past President, Ruth Pelletier

Ruth often says "she is happy when making a difference in people's lives". Ruth's professional career started over 50 years ago, when she worked in Geriatrics at the Verdun Protestant Hospital. Ruth worked for several years at radio stations such as CJAD, CFCF & CBC "Home Run". Her media work was a direct result of the profile she developed as a Consumer Help Officer. Following her media work Ruth began working for the English right's organization, Alliance Quebec, where she started in Community Development and made her way up to Executive Director. Ruth then became the Executive Director of a national health organization, the Canadian Continence Foundation. Until recently Ruth worked part-time with the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex- Foundation Office and with the QCGN part-time as the Manager of several projects including the senior's project until March 2012. Throughout the years, Ruth has volunteered on several boards such as Family Service Association, Chez Doris, the founding President of the Laval Citizen's Advisory Council, a founding member of the Greater Montreal Anti- Poverty Coordinating Committee (GMAPCC) and served on the board of the NDG Community Council - Elder Abuse. It only makes sense that she was involved in creating Seniors Action Quebec where it appeared it would not become an organization for English-speaking seniors throughout Quebec dur to lack of funding. With a team of committed volunteers, mostly seniors, it has been in operation since 2012. On June, 2016 Ruth decided that it was time to turn the leadership over. Ruth plays a minor role in the background. She is on the Steering Committee for a 2 -year project and will use her networks to benefit Seniors Action Quebec. When needed, she has also agreed to continue to organize special events and assist with Fund Raising and act as spoke person as required. Ruth continues to be involved in senior’s issues as she serves on a Seniors Advisory Committee that her local Member of Parliament has recently set up and le table des ainés Vaudreuil.

President, Michael Udy

Michael Udy is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Arts, and McGill University, School of Social Work. He trained in family therapy at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, and in management at the McGill Executive Institute. He is bilingual in English and French. You may ask "why become involved with a senior's organization when all your professional life has been with youth"? After working on the following initiatives I developed a greater understanding of the specific needs of the English-speaking community. Here are some of the projects/initiatives that Mr. Udy has worked especially on behalf of the English-speaking community. Improvement of access to health and social services in English in Quebec, for the McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals project, funded by Health Canada. Assessment of the experiences and priorities of English-speaking Quebecers concerning access to health and social services in English, for the Quebec Community Groups Network, funded by Health Canada. Assessment of the priorities identified by community organization personnel in Quebec working to improve access to health and social services in English, for the Community Health and Social Services Network, funded by Health Canada. 1997 to 2000 and 2003 to 2013: Mr.Udy was a member of the Québec government's Provincial Advisory Committee on Access to Health and Social Services in the English Language, serving as Vice-President. The committee advises the Quebec Minister of Health and Social services and the Québec government on the delivery of services in English to Québec's 990,000 Anglophones. Mr. Udy brings many years of management experience dealing with all levels of government and managing budgets in the millions. He has worked in the field of youth in difficulty and their families since 1968. He wished to use those skills and now work on behalf of the English-speaking seniors in Quebec; the needs are varied and great. Throughout the years Mr. Udy has been active on a number of boards and committees such as: Child Welfare League of Canada, serving as Treasurer, Chair of the Governance Committee, and President from 2005 to 2007 1996 to 2009: board member of the. CWLC is active on the national level in policy and practice issues in child welfare, with over 100 member organizations. 2005 to 2009: board member of Kids Help Phone, a national charitable organization offering telephone and web-based counselling and referrals for youth Now he wishes to give some of his time to working on behalf of Quebec's seniors.

Vice President, Lyna Boushel

Lyna Boushel has been active in the English community since 2005 as a member of Montreal Council of Women. She gained much insight into the needs of Anglophones in Montreal and surrounding regions through its 80 some organizations, members, who represented women, single mothers and families with children, seniors and the homeless. She spent 2 years as Assistant-Convener of administration on the Board of MCW, 2 years as Executive Vice-President and one year as Convenor of Transportation, representing MCW at various meetings with committees with the Conseil des femmes de Montréal and Transport 2000, where she has been serving on a committee to study transportation policy and tarification with a view to help improve accessibility to public transit for seniors and others with limited income. Lyna has navigated the health system and various provincial government departments to ensure that services were available in English for both her mother-in-law and her mother, until her passing in 1999. Lyna is fluently bilingual with a BEd '98 in French as a Second Language from McGill. Prior to raising her 3 daughters, Lyna worked for l3 years in the investment business, and became the first woman Money Market Trader in Canada in 1968 with Nesbitt, Thomson and subsequently the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec from 1972-75.

Treasurer, Dr. Chitra Chopra

Dr. Chopra has an extensive background in Scientific Research. She has a Ph.D. in Tumour immunology, a M.Sc. in   Microbial Biochemistry and a B.Sc. in Chemistry. She also received an Industrial Research Fellowship NSERC (NRC Canada). 

Chitra has also been a very active volunteer serving on the following boards: Canadian Federation of   University Women (National Chair & Past Board Member: Vice-President; Director of Resolutions).

Montreal Lakeshore University Women’s Club (Past President; CFUW Liaison; Chair Ways & Means; Webmaster ).

Montreal Council of Women (President; Past Vice-President, Resolutions, Webmaster. Dr. Chopra has a strong interest in Policy and Advocacy.

Dr. Chopra has massive experience in finances including managing contracts, human resources and managing an account of $12M and is willing to accept the position of Treasurer for Seniors Action Quebec.

Secretary, Andrew DeFour

Andrew DeFour, is the Founder & President I of Customized Homecare a Montreal based home care agency... Andrew has worked in industry for the last 15 years in senior level finance and Procurement. Andrew worked for many National & Global companies such as Telus, Air Canada, Abbott Labatories, Pfizer and General Electric. Andrew is a Certified Accountant (CPA) and a Member of Ordre des Professionels Agrees du Quebec. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Concordia University. Andrew currently sits on the Board of Directors of Seniors Action Quebec

Member-at-Large, Maria Peluso

Maria has a long history of community activism coupled with employment in the educational and government fields. My roles have always involved advocating for the rights of the disenfranchised, those living below the poverty line, the rights of minorities and those whose voices are not heard. It should come as no surprise that Maria has developed a deep commitment to advance the rights of the elderly. Regrettably there exists a marked paradigm shift with society’s view of the elderly. Once respected for their experience, wisdom, and guidance, the elderly today are treated as a burden. They are no longer valued as they once were.
As well, our recruitment efforts should be diversified to include the pension associations of retired employees that once worked for our public institutions – our schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and any other public or private corporation that maintains a pensioner’s association. We need to reach-out to new markets for our membership to grow.

Jan Anderson

Jan Anderson is a community organizer from Jeffery Hale Community Services in Quebec City and a board member of both Voice of English-speaking Quebec and Quebec Community Groups Network. As a community organizer she is aware of the needs and challenge of English-speakers in Quebec and has a strong interest in promoting community development, fostering strong partnership and sharing information and resources. Ms. Anderson is also familiar with the English-speaking community of Quebec having lived in Montreal, the Outaouais and Quebec City.

Haydn Baggoo

I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, British West Indies, and came to Canada with my family as a child during Expo’67.

I have been an educator for 10 years with Lester B. Pearson (LBPSB) and English Montreal School Boards(EMSB) where I have taught English and business at the academic level in adult education.

 I also have 25 years of broad private sector experience in human resources, marketing operations, and logistics with Pratt & Whitney Canada, Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International Ltd., and the Canadian National Railway Company.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University and a Graduate diploma in Administration from Concordia University. I also have Locomotive Engineer qualifications, White Sailing certification and I am a Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

My experience in Education include teaching, workshop delivery, advisory, and community relations outreach. And my experience in Business include leading special projects in the areas of customer service, technology solutions, corporate image, employee involvement and training.

This combination makes me very eager to apply my drive and enthusiasm to help Seniors Action Quebec’s current and future challenges.

I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, British West Indies, and came to Canada with my family as a child during Expo’67.

Velda Bourne

I was born and educated in Barbados. I completed my education and graduated as a Nurse and Midwife in London England.

During my career, I have worked mainly on the medical unit. This type of unit had a lot of seniors most of the time. I was the Assistant Head Nurse on a Medical floor where I spent a lot of time doing every thig I could to help the seniors and their family with all types of problems. I was Assistant to the immediate Supervisor at CHSLD ST. Margaret where I had to the same thing with the Residents. Working in these positions gave me the opportunity to learn more about the English-speaking community their needs for assistance and lack of services in Quebec.

Working as the local President of the union in both institutions I could see and understand how the government deals with the communities and people. I also sat on the Board of Unit Nurses was the secretary and assistant Treasurer. I did some fundraising for gifts for Nurses Day.

I help construct and organise The Boys & Girls Club of Lachine with the City of Lachine as the only English speaking center in Lachine.

I did community courses at Concordia in the summer from 2001- 2003.

I retired from CHSLD St Margaret in November 2008.

Lynne Fornarolo

Lynne is a Human Resource professional and with nearly 20 years of experience in organizational effectiveness, talent acquisition and operations in major international businesses, start-ups and independent consulting.

Lynne has been a line manager and led major initiatives in organizational restricting, design and effectiveness, mass recruiting and change management. She has extensive experience in internal HR consulting, group facilitation and project planning. Lynne holds a B.A. in Industrial Relations from McGill University.

Her knowledge and involvement with community organizations are the following:

  • Seniors Action Quebec – Strategic Planning (2016)
  • West Island Community Shares – Recruitment of new Executive Director (2016)
  • West Island Cancer Wellness Centre – Strategic Plan Development & Facilitation (2013)
  • McGill University - MBA Program Mentor (2008-2009)
  • West Island Palliative Care – Bereavement Support Program (2009-2010)
  • CPR Instructor – Heart & Stroke Foundation – Pfizer Canada (2006 – 2011)
  • CPE Deux par deux - Board of Directors and company representative (2000-2010)

Deborah (Debbie) Horrocks

I am currently employed as the Assistant Project Director with the Community Learning Centre (CLC) Initiative for 6 years. Prior to this, I was a Director with CEDEC for 7 years on the South Shore of Montreal. From 1996-2014, I was a school commissioner with the Riverside School Board, 8 years as Vice-Chair. I was also the President of the Quebec English School Board Association(QESBA) for 4 years, and 2 years as the Vice-President.  I was also a volunteer serving on the Priority Setting Steering Committee of the QCGN. I am a founding member of RAPID- a non-profit organization formed to promote the development and facilitate the delivery of resources to English-speaking children and adults with special needs on the South Shore of Montreal. I am very aware of the challenges & needs of our seniors as I was the primary caregiver for my parents for more than 20 years, until their deaths in 2014. I rook some time of the refocus and reenergize and I now feel it is time for me to become a volunteer again as I have much to offer and it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Glen Marcotte

Glen Marcotte is a social worker in private practice whose clientele is primarily the elderly. Retired from CLSC Metro’s homecare department & AIDS intervention center, he is a member of Elder Aide Associates, a network of professionals serving the needs of seniors. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary and McGill University and a member of the Ordre professionnel de travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familieaux du Québec. Glen is the president of Entraide Bénévole Metro, Montreal, and he is lay reader at the Anglican Church in his home town of Portneuf, QC. His professional and volunteer work focuses on assuring the dignity, the integrity & the agency of seniors in our community.

Rose Regimbald

Retired from Foreign Affairs after 35 years in the Foreign Service. Born in La Peche, Quebec and have been a resident of Gatineau (Aylmer) for 20 years where I developed community connections through my volunteer work. As a member of the Royal Canadian Legion I sit as a Committee member where we do community outreach and support the community and other non-profit organizations who in turn support our community an  example, the Food Bank and the Women's Shelter. I am currently the Service Officer for the Legion.

I am a member of the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ)  where I volunteer as needed. I am a  member of Western Quebec Literacy Council and I volunteer as a tutor for English students. I have volunteered at Access Benevole (in Aylmer) for 2 years to support their day program. This is a day program for seniors as well as - They will do income tax for low income folks for a small fee and drive people to appointments for a fee. I find there is a lot of interaction and support between these associations (as Aylmer is a small community) including the connection with our local churches where we have a lot of seniors.  I am especially interested in affordable housing for seniors.  As  I am getting up there, in age myself, I am paying  attention to services for seniors.

Andrew W. (Andy) Sarrasin

Since 1970 Andy has served the public professionally in Funeral Service primarily in the capacity of manager with several funeral homes in the Montreal area. Since 2000 he has been with Mount Royal Commemorative Services and is Coordinator of Community Relations, a position he helped create to have more time to be involved in the community.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, as his children joined sports and other activities, Andy became involved in community activities and has become continuously more involved in community service since then, holding memberships in several non-profits and serving on numerous Boards.
With the Council for Black Aging Community of Montreal Inc. he served for some time on the building committee with the goal of building a residence for the Black Community, which is now a reality. He has served on the Boards of several community organizations, including in chronological order, (the now defunct West Island Seniors Enterprises); Entraide Benevole Metro, New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre and the Mile End Community Mission. He is currently serving a second call of duty as President of the Board of Directors of New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre as well as participating in a community service initiative in collaboration with numerous other community organisations and Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. He remains supportive to numerous organisations holding active memberships primarily with Waverley Lodge # 82 and the Kiwanis Club of Lakeshore Montreal.

Andy has also had some success with fundraising events over the years collaborating with fundraising teams and local celebrities.

Andy feels greatly blessed through the tremendous knowledge, energy, passion and leadership of the many dedicated and talented people who have touched his life throughout his tenure in service to the community.

Jane E. Skelton

I was born and raised in Montreal. In my mid-teens, I joined Project Christopher; a Montreal based North American Youth Corps, where I spent 5 summers working on various projects. In the summer of 1971, I was part of the first Team sent outside of North America, down to Guyana. I obtained a B.A., Specialization in Sociology from Concordia University and a B.S.W. from Université de Québec à Montréal. I worked in the Health Care arena, primarily in geriatrics, for more than 30 years, including working at the Reddy Memorial Hospital and the Guy Metro CLSC. For the past 23 years, I have been involved with the United Irish Societies of Montreal Inc. (U.I.S.), an organization of volunteers whose primary Mandate is to organize the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Montreal. My involvement with the U.I.S. includes: overseeing the Christmas Baskets Campaign and occupying the position of Treasurer. I am also involved with the Selection Evening and the post-Parade Banquet. I have particularly enjoyed working with seniors. I joined Seniors Action Quebec as Treasurer in 2013 and I also managed the membership and registration for special events. I am delighted to remain on as a board member.

Peter Whitcomb

Peter is a resident of Thetford Mines, Qc. For the past 12 years he has worked part time for the Megantic English Speaking Community Development Corporation as a Health Services Coordinator. Prior to that Peter was the principal of the local English Elementary and High School for 25 years and served 2 years as Assistant Director General of the Greater Quebec School Board. He is very involved in the community, a few involvements include: Community Member/Chairperson, Comite Regional Pour les Programmes d'Acces aux Services de Sante et aux Services Sociaux en Langue Anglaise Chaudiere - Appalaches; Treasurer, Fondation Education Anglaise de Thetford Mines, Thetford Mines, Qc.; Vice President, Megantic Community Foundation.

Partners working together on common objectives on your behalf:

CEDEC - Community Economic Development and Entrepaneurial Corporation
CHSSN - Community Health & Social Services Network
FAAFC - Fédération des aînés et aînées francophones du Canada
FADOQ - Fédération de l'âge d'Or du Québec
QCGN - Quebec Community Groups Network
CAMI-Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders 
Alumni of Concordia 
“MY TOOL BOX", MUHC Chronic Disease Self-Management Program 
NOVA Montréal 
REISA – The East Island Network for English Language Services