• Hunter Cresswell

From Green to Guénard

Pierre Guénard got 63 per cent of votes to win Chelsea mayor’s seat


When asked if his mandate as mayor would bring more of the same as the past four years, newly-elected Chelsea Mayor Pierre Guénard was quick to say “no.”


“There will be change,” he said on election night.


Mayor Pierre Guénard said the next four years won’t be like the last four. Hunter Cresswell photo
Mayor Pierre Guénard said the next four years won’t be like the last four. Hunter Cresswell photo

Despite online insinuations that Guénard would be the continuation of Caryl Green – who served as mayor for the past 12 years – he told The Low Down that the former mayor did not encourage him to run.


On election night, Green said that she didn’t tap either candidate to run; she also didn’t publicly endorse either candidate.


Guénard’s opponent Shelley Fraser admitted that someone asked her to enter the race, but would not confirm who gave her the shoulder tap.


“During the past eight years, residents who attended the council meetings know that I can voice different opinions than other members of the council,” Guénard said in reference to the numerous meetings where he and Green got into heated back-and-forth discussions.


According to preliminary Élections Québec results, Guénard defeated Fraser in the race to replace Caryl Green as mayor. Guénard received 1,650 votes and Fraser got 948. Of the 5,835 registered Chelsea voters, only 2,598 cast valid votes during the Nov. 7 election.


Green herself was vying for the MRC warden seat, but lost to former MNA Marc Carrière.


On the morning following election day, The Low Down asked Fraser what message she would share with Guénard.


“Whether it’s the [National Capital Commission’s payment in lieu of tax dispute] or wherever file, just make sure you have a broad stakeholder group at the table so that you have a holistic approach and a balance moving forward,” she responded.


Fraser added that, as promised on the campaign trail, she is looking to take French courses. Her unilingualism came up several times during the campaign usually at her detriment.


“I want to do it as opposed to I have to do it,” Fraser said.


When asked if she would consider running again, she didn’t give a definite answer.


Also reached the day after the election, Guénard said the new council’s first priorities are bringing new councillors up to speed on municipal files, adopting the 2022 budget, and the municipal master plan update.


“For sure we will have public consultations regarding the master plan,” Guénard said.


As promised on the campaign trail, Guénard said he will take a four-year leave of absence from École des Cépages where he has taught gym for six years to be a full-time mayor. He is still currently employed for the next few weeks to help with the transition.