• Carmen Marie Fabio

MRC-Vaudreuil-Soulanges will elect new prefect


PHOTO COURTESY MUNICIPALITÉ RÉGIONALE DE COMTÉ VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES

Unanimously appointed as MRC-VS Prefect in April, 2014, Jean A. Lalonde will be stepping aside November 22 following his municipal election loss.

With the loss of his mayoralty position in the Town of Très-Saint-Rédempteur (TSR), the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) bids farewell to Prefect Jean A. Lalonde who was unanimously appointed to the position in April, 2014.

“It’s sad to lose someone like Mr. Lalonde,” said MRC-VS Communications Coordinator Simon Richard. “He was very, very appreciated, but that’s democracy and we respect the decision of the citizens of Très-Saint-Rédempteur.”

Lalonde stepped into the role vacated by former Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot Mayor Marie-Claude Nichols following her provincial election win to become the Liberal MNA for Vaudreuil.

"The term of Mr. Lalonde as the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges Prefect has been outstanding for our institution and for the region,” said MRC-VS Director General Guy-Lin Beaudoin. “His determination, his ability to bring people together, his leadership qualities and his love for Vaudreuil-Soulanges are all character traits of Mr. Lalonde that have allowed us to accomplish great things.”

“I have very rarely seen somebody who was as committed as Jean Lalonde,” said newly re-elected Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. “He has my total respect for what he did for our county.”

Gruenwald specifically commended Lalonde for his ability to work with all the mayors in the region. “Twenty-three different individuals with 23 different personalities and town population sizes,” he said. “That is a feat in itself which is enormous.”

Lalonde was proactive on the pipeline dossier in the region, particularly at the provincial level, in highlighting the communication disparities over crucial safety information needed from the pipeline companies to properly coordinate emergency response measures. “He managed this with a particular finesse,” said Gruenwald.

In March 2017, Lalonde addressed the National Assembly Parliamentary Proceedings on Quebec’s proposed Bill 122 as the sole voice in opposing a portion of the bill that would no longer require towns with a population exceeding 5000 to publish legal notices in newspapers, saying, “A healthy democracy requires a healthy press. We have good local newspapers in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and good journalists, and we want to keep our local papers.”

Of his detractors, Gruenwald said citizens who understand how the political process works in Quebec rallied behind Lalonde. “There are those who don’t understand how the system works. It’ll take a while but as people learn, they’ll realize his achievements.”

Richard said the MRC-VS will appoint a new prefect at their next meeting on November 22. Should more than one candidate express interest in the position, an election will ensue.

Lalonde lost his bid for re-election as TSR mayor to former Councillor Julie Lemieux.

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