Third in Ward 2-Reuniting town hall with citizens

Oct. 14, 2009 – Anyone passing through Old Chelsea over Thanksgiving weekend – even the hundreds of fall colour aficionados with no interest in the Ward 2 council race – couldn’t have failed to notice Marcel Gauvreau’s campaign signs.

The third in a crowded contest featuring Preservation Chelsea president Geoff Bleich and Doozy Candle owner Bruce Langer, Gauvreau has served notice with a barrage bilingual of tax-and-debt management posters, and a family portrait set against either a serene Chelsea waterfall or the same set as Michael Ignatieff’s recent television spots.

Gauvreau, a general contractor in the insurance business, moved to Chelsea from Gatineau five years ago because he felt it was an “extraordinary community” with the best in schooling, family values and rural life. He is married with four kids.

He said he found those positive attributes, but a lot of division came along with it.

“When you go to a ball game and there are personal attacks screamed across the ball field I don’t feel that’s good for our community,” he said.

Gauvreau, 44, has never been involved in municipal politics. He hopes to bring a level of civility to council meetings, and to get out and listen to his ward.

“I’m under the impression town hall and residents are in different spheres,” he said, citing a lack of understanding about projects and the reasons for tax increases.

Gauvreau also thinks cost overruns are bad for the community, abhorring projects that go more than 40 per cent over budget.

“I think that’s appalling,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t help the transparency issue. These are surprises we don’t need. We need to bring operating expenses under control.”

He said this doesn’t necessarily mean a cut to services – just a cut to waste. He wants to be involved in overseeing the Meredith Centre’s next steps to ensure that cost overruns are kept within what he considers a reasonable range of five to 15 per cent.

Gauvreau also launched a campaign website – http://marcelgauvreau.com/ – which features an open letter and some of his priorities. He is bilingual but at press time the site’s content was only available in French.

Geoff Bleich, whose interview with the Low Down appeared in the Sept 23 edition, also has a website which can be viewed at www.geoffbleich.com.

Bruce Langer has appeared in several Low Down election articles.