• John Jantak

Hawa wins second term as Ste. Anne’s mayor


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Paola Hawa stands outside Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue City Hall on November 7 after being re-elected as mayor for a second consecutive mandate.

Paola Hawa was re-elected to her second consecutive mandate as Ste. Anne de Bellevue mayor defeating rival Lucie LaRose on Sunday, November 5.

The participation rate was 53.2 per cent. Hawa received 1,063 votes (53.63 per cent) and opposition candidate Lucie LaRose received 919 votes (46.37 per cent) out of 2,014 ballots cast. There were 32 spoiled ballots.

Councillors Dana Chevalier, Ryan Young, Francis Juneau and Yvan Labelle were re-elected. The two new councillors are Tom Broad and Denis Gignac.

Show of support

For Hawa, her re-election was a clear indication the majority of citizens supported her campaign platform and council decisions that were made during her first four-year term, although she was disappointed with the voter turnout.

“I’m very happy I’m going to get a chance to continue on with some of the great projects we’ve already started,” Hawa told Your Local Journal. “We’ll be doing a lot of big things so that we keep moving forward. We’re still on the right track but I would have preferred if more people participated in the election. The participation rate was really low.”

Future projects

Hawa is trying to determine which issues council should work on in the next four years. “I’ve already got about 20 items up on the board and looking forward to getting them done little-by-little,” she said.

“At least the huge files were settled in the last mandate so it’ll be nice to not have to start on life-or-death type of items, like the Programme Particulier d’urbanisme (PPU) and the transfer of Ste. Anne’s Hospital,” she added.

One possible plan for the vacant land surrounding Ste. Anne’s Hospital which is now a geriatric care facility as well continuing services for war veterans, is to provide appropriate services for the elderly, said Hawa.

The recalculation of contributions made to the Montreal agglomeration will also help to fund new projects. The city is expected to save just over $3.4 million by 2019. “It’s very useful. Some of the items on our to-do list we couldn’t even have envisioned doing them without the savings,” said Hawa.

Urban development plan

Despite a $35 million lawsuit that was launched by la société Développement Immobilier Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (DISAB) in July regarding the city’s revised PPU that protects a large swath of green space in the north from development, Hawa is adamant its urban development plan will not be revised.

“We’re more determined than ever to keep our PPU as it is. We will not be swayed to change it because of the lawsuit,” she said. “I think the people have spoken and demonstrated they are behind the city standing firm.”

Clean campaign

Hawa’s also pleased her campaign approach resonated with most voters. “I think I ran a very clean campaign. I’m proud of that,” she said. “There were many chances and occasions to have gone another way but we stuck to our guns and proved that you can run a clean campaign and win. Let this be a lesson to everyone in the future.”

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