Former mayor and Liberal party MNA Marc Carrière will return to his post as warden of the MRC des Collines after voters carried him to victory on Nov. 7 with nearly 40 per cent of the vote, defeating challengers Caryl Green and Eric Antoine, according to preliminary results.
Receiving 6,090 votes, or 39.96 per cent of the total vote share, Carrière was re-elected to the position he previously held from 2000 to 2008, and he said he’s excited to get back to work.
“I’m very happy about the election and the faith voters have put in me,” Carrière told The Low Down on Nov. 8, the morning after election day. “I'm really happy with the results.”
Carrière said his first order of business will be to examine the proposed 2022 budget, which will need to be adopted in less than three weeks. In the short term, Carrière will also have to get to work on economic and agricultural development to ensure the region’s recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his plan to gain an observatory seat for the MRC on the National Capital Commission's board of directors.
“That will be a big issue for the MRC and those three municipalities,” Carrière said, referring to the municipalities of Chelsea, Pontiac, and La Pêche. “It's an issue of environmental management as well as the financial aspect.”
Carrière thanked voters, as well as his fellow candidates, for the clean and respectful race they ran.
“I want to give my gratitude and thanks to Caryl Green for all of the work that she has done for Chelsea and the MRC des Collines," Carrière added. "I wish them [Green and Antoine] both all of the best in the future."
‘New chapter’ for Green
Green, the MRC’s outgoing warden, who was first elected as the mayor of Chelsea in 2009, and elected warden by the council of mayors in 2017, said she is looking forward to her “new chapter,” but said whatever that looks like, she will still continue to contribute to the region in her own way.
“I will be looking at the different possibilities that are ahead of me,” Green told The Low Down. “It's been a great privilege, and I look forward to supporting Marc [Carrière] as warden.”
While Green may have narrowly lost the election by 817 votes, receiving 5,273 votes – 34.6 per cent of the total vote share, according to preliminary results – she said she was confident that her successor would serve the region well.
“Marc [Carrière] brings a lot of experience with him; he knows the MRC,” Green said. “He'll be able to continue the work that we've been doing…I congratulate him and wish him success.”
Green also said that the election itself was a great service to the residents of the MRC, as she believes it helped residents better understand the role of the MRC and the job of warden.
“I think the fact that the three of us were fairly well known throughout the MRC gave a lot of visibility to the role of the warden," Green said.
Antoine, the race's final candidate and L’Ange Gardien resident, received 25.44 per cent of the vote, or 3,877 votes, according to preliminary results, but he did not respond to The Low Down’s request for comment by publication deadline.
According to data from Elections Quebec, only 38.3 per cent of the MRC des Collines’ 41,326 registered voters cast a ballot for the position of warden.
Up the line, Chantal Lamarche was re-elected warden of the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau MRC, defeating her opponent Lynne Gagnon with 85 per cent of the vote.