• James Armstrong

Two candidates launch campaigns for council seats in Saint-Lazare


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Public consultation and involving youth and young voters are major issues for District 3 resident Benoît Tremblay.

Two candidates have officially tossed their hats into the ring in the upcoming by-election in Saint-Lazare for Districts 2 and 3 to be held Sunday, June 9.

District 3 candidate

Benoît Tremblay moved to the Chaline Valley area of District 3 in 2004 from Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue.

“And then we learned we had a problem,” he told The Journal on Monday, April 29. He was referring to the possible threat of landslides in parts of the Chaline Valley neighbourhood along the Quinchien River. Currently, the Town of Saint-Lazare with support from the Quebec government has mobilized a major stabilization project for the potential landslide areas.

“I think what they are doing is commendable and largely all right,” said Tremblay. “What I’m not in agreement with is how the town dealt with the homeowners. There was a lack of empathy.”

As a candidate, Tremblay said he was seeking a mandate to improve the atmosphere at council, develop a better relationship between the council and residents, engage youth and young voters, and meet with the residents of his district on a regular basis.

“There is an absence of youth in the decision-making process of the city,” said Tremblay noting the younger generation is focused on environmental and climate change issues.

“It’s our youth who will be dealing with these problems in the future.

Tremblay is a retired lawyer with 30 years’ experience as in-house legal counsel with the Cree, Algonquin and other aboriginal communities. His experience in Aboriginal and Inuit communities included teaching history and social issues to the youth. “They were interested to learn about their treaty rights (and) the Canadian political system,” he said.

“We need to have a consultation process that involves the community,” Tremblay stressed. “It has to be a public event with real effort put into bringing in people. Yes, town council is elected to make decisions but that doesn’t take away the need to ask residents for their opinions.”

PHOTO COURTESY PIERRE CASAVANT

District 2 resident Pierre Casavant sees a need for short and long term planning in Saint-Lazare.

District 2 candidate

Pierre Casavant, a resident of the town for 23 years, stated in a press release on Monday, April 29, he has always been involved with community issues and has successfully collaborated with various town councils to achieve solutions. He is concerned about the rapid pace of development in Saint-Lazare and the lack of short and long-term planning to address it.

“The ‘champêtre’ charm of our community is the reason many residents moved here,” he wrote in the release. “Preserving our unique quality of life has always been a priority for me.”

Casavant said he sees future spending plans, enhanced business development opportunities, and sustainable development policies as the key issues for Saint-Lazare.

He noted that as retired person he has the time to make a full commitment to work on behalf of the residents of District and the town. Casavant retired from a 42-year career in telecommunications in corporate services and sales that included the Vancouver Olympics Bell organization. The latter was responsible for executing a global communications installation and support for press, media and athletes.

“I believe my strength as a reliable and responsible team player that supports and respects others is a key contributor to a balanced and effective council,” he wrote.

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