• James Armstrong

Hudson Town Councillor Nicole Durand seeks re-election in District 3


PHOTO COURTESY OF NICOLE DURAND

Making Hudson a senior citizen friendly town is one of many projects Nicole Durand is promoting in her bid for council re-election.

After four years at the Hudson Town Council table, Nicole Durand is competing with Chloe Hutchison for the District 3 seat.

“I’m running on my record,” said Durand, “I want to continue what we have started,” pointing out she was involved in negotiating an 8-year collective agreement with unionized town employees and the elimination of a $1.7 million deficit.

Senior citizens

“We desperately need affordable assisted living residences for seniors. That’s why I support the Wyman project,” she said referring to the proposed Villa Wyman assisted living seniors’ residence to be built west of Wyman Memorial United Church. “I know some people are unhappy with the project because of its location, but it seems to be the only way for the town to have a non-profit project.”

Durand also supports the provincial government program for developing age-friendly municipalities, Municipalités amies des aînés (MADA). She said these services are needed in English as well as French.

During her four years on council, Durand chaired a citizens’ group on bi-generational housing. Her goal is to continue in that direction and include in-law suites for young families.

Potable water

“A new well is a short-term solution, that’s why I also support eventually taking water from the river,” said Durand. However, she said, the cost of a project like that would be too much for Hudson taxpayers to carry and the project would have to be shared with other communities such as St. Lazare and Rigaud.

Pine Lake dam

Durand sees the replacement of the Pine Lake dam as a potentially divisive issue for the town. “There are those who are all for replacing the dam and others that think it should remain as it is now because that’s how it was originally,” said Durand adding, “For those who have houses around the lake, I can totally understand their frustration and point of view. “There are many different ways to handle the project but I think it’s important that whatever happens, it needs to be voted on by the population.”

Pine Beach project

From Durand’s point of view, the town has been in discussions with the Pine Beach development project owner, Nicanco, for the last four years and the latter has provided the changes to the project requested by the town. “He received permission to move forward from the provincial government in 2014. But with the recent flooding and recent changes in provincial laws, it remains to be seen what the provincial government will allow.”

Downtown growth

“We have to make Hudson a destination,” said Durand. “We have the Hudson Village Theatre, Greenwood Centre for Living History, Pure Art, and we need other places to attract overnight visitors,” she added. For Durand, the downtown growth focus needs to be on gallery space for artists and support of local initiatives.

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