• John Jantak

Francis Juneau elected District 3 councillor in Ste. Anne de Bellevue

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Newly elected District 3 Councillor Francis Juneau stands outside the Harpell Centre in Sainte Anne de Bellevue on Monday, February 22.

Francis Juneau has become the newest member of Ste. Anne de Bellevue city council after he won the District 3 by-election last Sunday, February 21, receiving 145 votes compared to the 98 votes that were cast for rival Lise-Anne Briand.

The by-election was held to fill the seat that was left vacant by former Councillor Andrée Deschamps who passed away following a battle with cancer last November.

At age 22, Juneau is the youngest councillor to have been elected in Ste. Anne, and as a newcomer who will be starting his mandate less than two years until the next municipal elections scheduled in November 2017, he said he’s ready to meet the challenges of his new position.

“I’m really happy,” Juneau told Your Local Journal. “I’ve worked very hard for it. I’ve knocked on all the doors in my district. There were a lot of volunteers working with me which was a major part of my campaign and it’s probably the reason why I won.”

Juneau also credits the victory to his involvement in the community, including working as a municipal employee and regular attendance at council meetings for the past several years. “I think I had a lot of support in the election because I’ve been involved in the town for many years now,” he said.

Despite his age, Juneau said he’s confident he be able to make positive contributions to the city and speculates that his youth may have also have been a factor in his election victory.

“This is the big surprise because from my point-of-view it’s incredible that I won because I’m only 22 especially when you consider the population base is older than average. Maybe it’s because people wanted change and they wanted to have someone younger as their councillor,” said Juneau.

His first major task will be to learn as much as he can about the city’s current files. “I want to understand everything about the budget and all the other files at council,” said Juneau. “I want to make sure everything in the budget is accounted for and eventually to find other sources of revenue for the city.”

Juneau added he plans to work with Mayor Paola Hawa and all the councillors to ensure there is a consensus among issues that affect not only his District 3 constituents, but for all Ste. Anne residents.

Mayor Paola Hawa congratulated Juneau on his by-election victory and said she will do what she can to bring the newest councillor up-to-speed on the major issues affecting the municipality.

“It’s going to be a challenge for him but I’m sure he’ll be up for it,” said Hawa. “He’ll have to get on the fast track of learning the files. I’ll be meeting with him on Saturday to give him an update on the files so he can hit the ground running as much as possible. There’s a lot to learn in a very short time. He’s enthusiastic and I’m glad for that. And I’m glad we’ll be seven people on council again.”

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