• James Armstrong

Hudson Councillor Barbara Robinson aims for second term


Responsible fiscal planning and development are key factors in Councillor Barbara Robinson’s re-election platform .

Barbara Robinson is committed to maintaining her seat as councillor for Hudson’s District 4, one being challenged by Christine Redfern.

Robinson sees her four previous years as a source of strength and continuity for the next mayor and council. “My council experience gives me a knowledge of municipal governance and the challenges that face Hudson,” said Robinson, noting what she’d learnt dealing with various levels of government both federally and provincially, including her work on the Canada 150 grant application for the Community Centre renovation project and her involvement in the town’s relationship with the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS).

Fiscal responsibility

“We cleaned up the financial problem and ended with a budget surplus.” Robinson said the unfavourable auditors’ opinion in the 2016 budget was based on problems and deficiencies with internal controls from 2004 to 2013. “We need to have five years of good financial audits before they will give us a favourable opinion.” Her goal is to reduce expenses and keep the town’s finances in order.

Roads and streetlights

“We need to repair the roads and sidewalks and install better streetlights, that’s one of the most important issues for this district and the town,” said Robinson. As an avid gardener, she recounted how she upgraded the landscape of the traffic island at the intersection of Boulevard Harwood and Cameron Street. She was also involved in planting quantities of daffodil bulbs in various areas of the town.

Pine Beach Development and Pine Lake dam

For Robinson, the basic issue is that the town does not own the Pine Beach development property that includes Sandy Beach. “The developer was given the green light by the province to build his original plan, about 30 or 40 houses,” she said, adding the developer preferred to wait for permission to build the current proposed integrated project. “However, it could be years before it begins.

“We now have all of the beach and all of the trails leading to Jack Layton Park,” she said, adding the town has to manage the beach and provide toilet facilities and a lifeguard.

As for the Pine Lake dam situation she said, “To this day, there has not been a complete cost analysis of what has to be done to restore the lake and rebuild the dam. Most likely, the lake would have to be dredged, if that is allowable.” She recognized a committee had put significant effort into producing a report on a series of possible solutions. Robinson said three options were presented to the provincial government for approval. To date, the town has not received a reply.

Hudson’s future

“I would like to see more developments such as Kilteevan, more affordable housing, particularly for seniors.” As far as having a strong economic centre, Robinson doesn’t see it happening.

“We are simply too small to support it and there’s all the competition from Vaudreuil-Dorion and other communities.” However, she does support projects such as the Heartbeet Community farm. “We also need to develop some of our parks as playgrounds for children.” With young active grandchildren she has firsthand experience taking them to a playground.

“We have done some work on Benson Park, but we could look at Thompson Park for that as well,” she said. “People need a place to take their kids.”