Hudson Fire Department Captain receives Governor General’s Award
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
The presentation of a Governor General of Canada Medal of Merit for 40 years of service to Hudson Fire Department Captain Peter Leblanc (second from left) was celebrated by Assistant Director Daniel Leblanc (right), Director Philippe Baron (left) and Town Councillor Natalie Best and the staff of the fire department in attendance at the monthly council meeting.
The Hudson Fire Department was out in full force at the regular Hudson town council meeting Monday, October 2, as Assistant Director Daniel Leblanc presented Captain Peter Leblanc with the Governor General of Canada Medal for Distinguished Service for 40 years with the town.
Councillor Natalie Best, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Ed Prévost, opened the official presentation ceremony.
“The medal is awarded to firefighters who have accumulated 20 years of service including 10 years in hazardous duty situations. When a career spans a longer period, a bar is awarded in addition to the medal for each extra 10 years of service. Recipients also receive a Certificate of Merit signed by the Governor General of Canada.”
It was a personal, father-son moment as the elder Leblanc received the award from his son.
“From a young age, I was following my father during calls and his devotion was very inspiring,” said Daniel Leblanc crediting him for influencing his own career as a firefighter. “I am proud to work with him and would like to thank him for all these years of service.” Besides responding to emergency calls, Leblanc said his father was deeply involved in community service projects such as the Christmas Basket campaign, the Santa Claus parade and St. Patrick’s Day parade. Daniel Leblanc was also a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for 20 years of exemplary service in December 2014.
2016 audited financial statements
Treasurer Claudia Ouellette presented the 2016 audited non-consolidated financial statement clarifying ‘non-consolidated’ means the statement does not include Hudson’s share in the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS), Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), and the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM). Those amounts will be part of the consolidated financial statement that will be posted on the town website. According to Councillor Ron Goldenberg, since 2013, town revenues have increased 9.6 per cent and expenses have remained close to the 2013 level with a minor increase of 0.37 per cent.
“We almost had a $1 million surplus this year,” said Goldenberg comparing it to the deficit that was discovered at the beginning of the current council’s term.
Unfavourable auditors’ opinion
“The auditors did not express an opinion on the financial statement. They still cannot do that because of errors, omissions, misstatements and nonconformity in accounting and in law from 2004 to 2013,” said Goldenberg adding the town is working with the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire (MAMOT) to rectify the situation.
The town’s Conservation Plan for Wetlands and Natural Areas was officially returned to Hudson with comments from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). “It was sent to the MDDELCC on February 21, 2017,” stated Councillor Nicole Durand.
Agreement with Pine Beach developer
Council also approved an agreement with the company responsible for the Pine Beach development that gives the town public access to Sandy Beach. The ruling, read by Councillor Deborah Woodhead, states that comments from the MDDELCC find the project to be compatible with the previously mentioned conservation plan with minor adjustments. The ruling is also the infrastructure agreement between the town and the developer.
Resident Eva McCartney said the agreement with the developer could have waited until council had time to consider the conservation plan returned that day from the MDDELCC. “What’s the rush?” she asked. Durand responded this was an initial agreement and the developer faces many levels of approval before construction begins. Resident Jamie Nichols asked if council was aware they were agreeing to a long-term maintenance expense and was an estimate of the initial capital expense included in the agreement. Director General Jean-Pierre Roy said the amount, reportedly between $1.5 and $3 million, was included in an appendix to the agreement. Several councillors said this is the norm between a municipality and a developer where the developer is responsible for the installation of infrastructure and then hands it over to the town upon completion. Durand said at that point, the town would collect municipal taxes on the completed development.
Accolades for mayor and council
Many citizens expressed their thanks to Mayor Ed Prévost and the council members for their hard work and dedication during their four-year term. As a tribute to the mayor, Jamie Nichols read a poem he had composed, “You gave everything you had to give, to the cause of the town; In the face of the critics, you didn’t back down.”