• Hunter Cresswell

Chelsea council exodus

Only one councillor running for re-election

Next term will be a fresh start with fresh faces on Chelsea council.


So far, only one of the six sitting councillors have announced that they intend to seek re-election in their ward. This was mentioned during the Sept. 7 council meeting and all-but-confirmed by Mayor Caryl Green.


“What they have said is, they’re not running again,” she told The Low Down.


The only Chelsea officials who have announced their intention to run in the upcoming municipal election in November so far are Ward 2 councillor Pierre Guénard and Ward 6 councillor Kimberly Chan.


Green herself is running for the MRC des Collines prefect seat, a title she currently holds. Recent changes to the MRC des Collines mayor council means that the prefect or warden must be elected and can’t serve as an elected municipal official at the same time.


Green did note that the nomination period for people seeking election onto council is open until Oct. 1, so one or more councillors could change their mind and decide to run for re-election.


Ward 2 councillor Pierre Guénard said he won’t be running for re-election as the councillor for Ward 2, which covers most of Chelsea centre village and a large swath of Gatineau Park including Meech Lake, but will instead seek election as mayor.


“It’s a challenge I feel ready to take,” he said.


Chelsea Ward 2 councillor Pierre Guénard, seen here during a recent council meeting, grew a sweet handlebar moustache over the pandemic and intends on running for mayor this November. Low Down file photo
Chelsea Ward 2 councillor Pierre Guénard, seen here during a recent council meeting, grew a sweet handlebar moustache over the pandemic and intends on running for mayor this November. Low Down file photo

Guénard said he’s collecting signatures and will submit his nomination paperwork this week.


As of Sept. 20, no one else publicly announced their run for mayor.


Green said that whomever is elected as her predecessor would be put in what she described as a “demanding position” because of all the evening meetings, weekend events, the MRC des Collines council of mayors meetings, and other duties of the mayor.


“The hours are not just nine-to-five,” she said.


Ward 6 councillor Kimberly Chan represents the Hollow Glen area of Chelsea and told The Low Down in a recent email that she will run for re-election, wanting to continue the work she started during her mid-mandate election two years ago.


Ward 1 councillor Simon Joubarne represents the south-eastern corner of Chelsea along Hwy 105 south of Old Chelsea Road and said he won’t be running for re-election.


“I’ve been there for eight years. I feel I’ve accomplished a lot, but I’m ready to spend more time with the family,” he said.


Joubarne has two young sons at home.


Ward 5 councillor Jean-Paul Leduc represents the Farm Point, Cascades, and Tulip Valley areas and said that after two terms, he won’t be seeking re-election either.


“I think it was a really good learning experience,” he said, adding that he’s not ruling out running for office in the future. “But I think I need a break.”


Leduc said his departure will leave space on council for new people with new ideas. He added that he’s willing to give advice to people who want to run for his ward.


Ward 3 councillor Greg McGuire represents the Gleneagle and Tenaga areas and won’t run in this election, but also won’t rule out running again in the future.


“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on council but have other plans for next four years — including travel, if COVID allows,” he wrote to The Low Down.


Ward 4 councillor Kay Kerman represents the Larrimac and Burnett areas but also said that she won’t be seeking reelection.


“I just want to spend more time with my family,” she said.


The election will take place later this fall.


“I think it’s good for … council to be renewed once in a while,” Leduc said.


How to run and vote


People interested in running for election as mayor or councillor must submit their nomination papers to Chelsea’s returning officer and director general John-David McFaul or his assistant before 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.


His office is open for nomination paper submissions Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. His office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.


Polling day is Nov. 7, and advanced polling days are Oct. 30 and 31.


Voting by mail is allowed in certain situations, but people must submit a request to vote by mail to McFaul by Oct. 27. McFaul must receive ballot papers by Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m.


To contact McFaul or his assistant for more election information, visit the municipal hall or call 819-827-6217 or 819-827-6206.