Follow-up questions for St. Lazare mayoralty race
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Due to time constraints, there were a number of residents' questions unanswered after our St. Lazare mayoralty candidates' debate Monday, October 30, The remaining questions were submitted to all three mayoralty candidates with a promise to post the answers online.
Below is the Q & A with Lise Jolicoeur.
Q. How do you envision the revitalization of the city core and the costs to do it?
A. Revitalization of the city core: Our downtown should be a charming portrait of our roots. Many citizens during my door to door were very concerned that we would loose the cachet of the downtown area. Citizens need to be able to circulate in a secured environment as well as cyclist. I am not against any development. On the contrary, we need to develop our city. However we need to do it respecting what citizens would like to see and not how the a few people would like it.
My opinion is the the population was not involved and different scenarios were not elaborated and proposed to the citizens.
As far as the cost we need to look at the big picture, aqueduct, sewage, and the impact on the existing secondary water supply and sewage as well, road configuration for safety of all who access the down town area. Once we have all of that we will be able to have to propose cost to the population of the different scenarios that we will have come up with.
Q. What would you do to complete the bike paths in the town?
A. Again I think we need to look at the bigger picture. Like how do we access the downtown from different area of the city safely. We need to involve people that have expertise and are familiar with bike path, like Vélo Quebec for example, and get those experts to design and plan the best configurations, taking into account the safety of the cyclists and how to integrate with the vehicles at that will also circulate.
Q. We hear that Saint Lazare has a conservation plan and yet the town has agreed to a densification program with the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM). How can this be possible and how do we keep Saint Lazare from over-developing?
A. I understand your concern and it is mine as well. Let me state that, since 2016, we have obtained the Saint-Lazare Clause and we are now considered a Green Corridor, thus we do not have to comply to this densification required under the CMM any more. I would also like to develop with our citizens a vision and a plan on what the our city would look like in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. In is imperative that the population be part of these development plan so that we take into consideration your concerns.
Q. This election has been tainted by some candidates with a degree of mudslinging and personal attacks that is unprecedented in St Lazare, why do you think this is happening?
A. This may be a sign of the time. But please be certain that I am totally against this kind of politics and expression of feelings. This does not have its place in our society. We live after all in a democracy and everyone is entitle to give their opinion in a respectful manner and get an answer in a respectful manner.
Q. What makes you better qualified than your competitor to be Mayor?
1. I am a team player and my team includes the elected Councillors an you the citizens. In that sense I will represent the totality of the population. I have always treated them with respect. Over the last 4 years as a councillor I have always listen to my citizens and brought their concerns up to the administration. I sometimes had to fight to get their concerns looked into and dealt with. However, my perseverance to get my citizens answers earned me their respect.
2. we have current issues with sewers and aqueduct that need to be address immediately in parts of our town. Therefore thinking of adding to the problem let’s take a look at the big picture.
3. I want Saint-Lazare to be a leader in environmental solutions. For example, develop a tree policy, develop innovative solutions to composting. This will mean to become a much more active player in the MRC so that we get heard and get things going.
4. I will make transparency a priority. The population must be informed and their concerns must be brought back to the Council. I want all the facts to be shared with the population. They need to be informed, with all the possible technological means we have in this day and age.
5. Finally I have a vision of what I want my city to look like in the years to come. I would like to share that vision and include ideas from the population. I would like to develop a plan to get where we want to be as a city respecting our heritage. I want to open discussion with the other municipalities so that we can coordinate our efforts in developing our city taking in account that there are other cities around.
AFTER ALL ITS ALL ABOUT YOU!
When a city talks about investments when it comes to recreation and culture (parks, pools, skating rinks, etc.) and their use, what should be the cost absorbed by the community in general and at what point should a user fee be charged by the parents/users (for example minor hockey, skating at the arena, soccer, etc.).
We need to relook at Policy 28. In my mind there are inequities. Some sports demand more investments by parents than others.That is why I am asking to review our investments and projects to get a better picture so that we can redirect money in programmes. I truly believe in the development and health of our population at all ages.
I also believe we need to develop the cultural side by creating better opportunities for our local talent to development and get known. There are many artists in our greater regional area but they do not have the opportunities to get known and sell their products. We need to rethink how we want this to happen so all the artist in our town can develop and others that appreciate art and culture can have access. Again reassess so we can fit this in our budget.