Two new economic development officers at RDÉE PEI

To serve Acadian and francophone community

WELLINGTON, PEI – Sept. 11, 2013 – “The recent hiring of two new economic officers means the RDÉE Prince Edward Island team is now full and that the Acadian and francophone community of PEI now has access to new resources to help support its endeavors,” says executive director Bonnie Gallant.

The RDÉE – the provincial francophone economic development council – first hired Stéphane Blanchard of Rustico as its new economic development officer in charge of the Youth sector this past June. Born in Gaspésie, Stéphane taught school for 10 years and then served as community development officer with the Conseil acadien de Rustico before arriving at the RDÉE. These experiences prepared him well for the challenges of his new position.

Blanchard is responsible for projects and initiatives such as the postsecondary internship program PERCÉ, the entrepreneurial training programs Jeunes millionnaires (Young Millionaires) and Jeunes entreprises (Junior Achievement), as well as the Coopérative service Jeunesse (youth services co-op), an odd-job squad providing services to the community and little summer jobs for kids. He works mostly out of the Charlottetown satellite office, located in the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, but he also travels to the Wellington office and elsewhere as needed.

Secondly, in early September, the RDÉE hired Mélissa Bouffard as its new economic development officer in charge of the Tourism sector. Originally from Quebec, Bouffard is a historian by trade. After a few years of work in teaching and in regional economic development, Bouffard left her home province seeking greener pastures in the plains of Western Canada. For nearly three years, she worked as the coordinator of a school animation program for a historical society in Saskatchewan. Over the next two years, she worked with the Conseil de la coopération de la Saskatchewan (RDÉE Saskatchewan). As a projects and communications analyst and economic development counselor, tourism sector, she got to participate in a variety of provincial and Western Canadian projects.

With RDÉE PEI, she will get to work with several of the province’s tourism organizations, supporting them in the development and implementation of their tourism projects. Her office is in Wellington but she too will travel to other locations as needed.


The RDÉE’s executive director noted that a few other staffing changes were recently made while others will happen very soon.

First of all, Christian Gallant, the development officer who has worked with the RDÉE for a few years now, has just been assigned exclusively to the Immigration sector. He was previously also in charge of the Youth sector. Under the overall Immigration umbrella is the LIENS project (whose acronym means, in French, Linking economic immigration to our successes), which is coordinated by Catherine Rioux. Francis Thériault, former executive director of the RDÉE, is now coordinating the organization of a national immigration forum on immigration, to be held in May 2014. These three people work out of the Charlottetown office.

Next, Gary Doucette, who is currently development officer and assistant executive director, will retire at the end of September.

The RDÉE has also just hired an information technology intern for 21 weeks, part-time, thanks to the SYnC program. College student Zoé Arsenault will take on this position, based out of Charlottetown.

The RDÉE’s administrative team – executive director Bonnie Gallant, financial administrative assistant Amy Richard and communications officer/Acadian Chamber coordinator Raymond Arsenault – continue to work in their regular functions from the Wellington office.

Finally, this past spring, the RDÉE signed a management agreement with the Wellington Rural Action Centre. Its employee, client information officer Jeannine Arsenault, is therefore now under the director of the RDÉE.


CUTLINE: The economic development officers Mélissa Bouffard (Tourism sector) and Stéphane Blanchard (Youth sector) have arrived at the RDÉE, full of enthusiasm and ready to serve the Acadian and Francophone community of PEI.