Saint-Lazare Councillor Lachance announces mayoral candidacy
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Saint-Lazare District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance spoke to The Journal about her decision to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election this fall during an interview at Ephemeral Park on June 15.
Saint-Lazare District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance has announced she will be running as a candidate for mayor of the town in the November 7 municipal elections. Lachance has been living in Saint-Lazare for 23 years and was first elected as councillor in 2017.
Since the beginning of her current mandate, Lachance has demonstrated strong leadership skills within council. Together with other councillors, she has led key environmental initiatives and helped to establish better management and planning.
Her most notable accomplishments were the implementation of the Master Conservation Plan, the adoption of by-laws for the protection of wetlands and forest ecosystems throughout the territory, as well as enacting the 2021-2025 Sustainable Development Plan. Lachance has also advocated for the regional protection of groundwater by the MRC and spearheaded the fight for the extension of the REM for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
“Throughout the years I made my place in a leadership role with the other councillors and I saw there was a need and started assuming that role naturally and without any kind of intent of running for mayor. When I started thinking about the upcoming election, I had to decide whether I should run for council or should I quit and run for mayor,” Lachance told The Journal June 15.
“For me it’s a natural progression because I think I grew a lot and I learned so much from my experience. Going into this next election I think it’s important for me personally to keep growing and learning. I need to go to the next step. With my knowledge and character and with my ability to lead, I think it will be a good fit for Saint-Lazare as well. I will be able to use this experience to help move the town forward,” she added
For Lachance, the town will eventually reach its maximum population capacity of between 25,000 to 27,000 residents within the next few years. Continued growth will eventually put an additional strain on its natural resources, particularly the underground aquifer system. The current low water level has already brought into focus the unnecessary wastage of potable water that many municipalities are now dealing with.
“Probably what’s been missing in the past is sustainable development, the ability to think ahead when we’re building all these new homes and the impact it has on the city especially in the long-term. The idea of infinite growth is ridiculous to me. You just can’t keep growing. That brings into focus the problem of revenues. We rely on property taxes for revenue,” said Lachance.
“A lot of municipalities will eventually hit a wall because we can’t keep growing and afford to keep giving services sustaining the town with these new developments because more development eventually costs more. In the short term it generates revenue but it’s a short term solution. We can’t keep growing if we don’t have the resources to provide to our residents,” she added.
Saint-Lazare ‘at a crossroads’
“Strategic decisions must be taken concerning residential and commercial development as well as municipal infrastructure. We absolutely must control and better plan such development because the sustainability of our resources depends on it,” said Lachance.
“We need to focus on the needs and wellbeing of our community. For example, seniors who wish to remain in Saint-Lazare should be able to do so. Affordable housing, safe streets and more flexible public transportation are also needed. COVID-19 has shown us how essential it is to support our community, including our local merchants,” she added.
Lachance is well known for being an accessible public official who enjoys communicating with her fellow citizens on several platforms including social media. Her complete detailed election platform is available at genevievelachance.com.