Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Various issues discussed at last electoral debate for The Nation
The three candidates competing for mayor of The Nation Municipality, as well as the eight candidates to councillor positions, addressed various issues during the last election debate held on October 4 in Limoges.
Danika Bourgeois-Desnoyers, Denis Pommainville, François St-Amour and the eight candidates for the position of councillor presented their different points of view to nearly 200 people at the Community Centre in Limoges.
The three mayoral candidates were asked to comment on their plan to improve The Nation's level of transparency. According to the incumbent mayor, François St-Amour, this requires training at the beginning of the mandate to ensure that the Access to Information Act is properly applied.
Pommainville, for his part, believes that meeting times should be modified, reports from committees, subcommittees and department heads should be readily available, a question period should be included at board meetings and that information on major projects should be publicly published.
Bourgeois-Desnoyers believes that the possibility of other mediums to spread the word should be looked at, such as the use of video. “With a video, we can reach 1000 people, but we have trouble filling our boardrooms, she said. “We must review our ways of doing things.”
In terms of economic development, the candidates all presented their ideas to help the municipality attract new investors.
“We must create an economic development department, we must have a budget that is large enough,” said Pommainville. We are not on the market right now, we need an experienced person who will convince investors to move here.”
Bourgeois-Desnoyers proposed to set up an incentive program to attract new companies and also hopes to create a clear community profile. She also added that she is familiar with the region's data. St-Amour proposed eliminating commercial and industrial development costs for new businesses.
The question of whether the merger between The Nation and the Village of Casselman would be beneficial was also raised. Although she may see advantages, Bourgeois-Desnoyers assured that this should not be done at the expense of The Nation's taxpayers. She believes in taking a closer look at this possibility, consulting with residents and exploring a win-win plan.
For St-Amour, “there is economic potential, there is no doubt about it. But definitively, however, there must be very extensive consultation, a very good study of both parties financially and, at the next elections, I would hold a referendum to find out the position of the population.”
Pommainville believes that this would be an opportunity to develop the entire southern part of the Village of Casselman. He believes that this would be “something very positive for both municipalities.”
All candidates for mayor and councilor were asked to express to citizens how their values correspond to those of young families. Most candidates expressed close proximity to family values and raised the need for a better provision of services at the municipal level for these families.
Bourgeois-Denoyers and Pommainville both committed to implementing the recommendations made in a South Nation Conservation report, to maintain forest levels in the region. St-Amour said he is very involved in protecting the forest, but will leave it to the members of the next council to decide on commitment in the matter.
Une version française de cet article a été publié en page 5 du journal Reflet-News du 11 octobre.