Incumbent stages narrow victory to remain Kaz mayor
Bergeron wins mayoral seat by 10 votes
Robert Bergeron may have woken up with another four years as mayor of Kazabazua, but the race was a lot closer than he would have liked.
Bergeron, the incumbent, won the mayor’s seat with 42 per cent of the vote — 10 more votes than his challenger Pierre Raymond, who pulled in 164 votes to Bergeron’s 174, according to preliminary results.
“It was a bit tight yesterday, but it’s okay today,” said Bergeron.
Although the race was tight, he said the slight victory still tells him that voters are generally happy with the work he and his council have been doing. “My first thought was that people want me to finish what I started.”
Bergeron’s to-do list over the next four years includes the construction of a 26-bed seniors’ home in Gracefield, high-speed internet access for all residents, and the addition of a public dock and floating wharf along the Gatineau River, which will become the municipality’s only public water access.
“You need places for the family to be able to come and do things,” said Bergeron, a day after he was re-elected mayor. “It’s nice to live here, but if you have no transportation and no activities then why should they come to our municipality?”
It’s no secret that Kaz is struggling. Attracting new businesses and residents has been a constant battle for Bergeron during his tenure, but he said he hopes that with more and more families leaving the city, the village will get a much needed boost. Problem is, there aren’t many places for young families to live.
“Now is the time to jump on the opportunity to work with developers to make it as easy as possible for them to start building here because we definitely need it,” said Bergeron. “Even if the government gave us 150 healthcare workers [which residents have been calling for] to help us, where would we lodge them? We have to find developers to come and start building places for people to live.”
The installation of high-speed internet should be that shot-in-the-arm that Bergeron is hoping for, as the province has assured residents that everyone will be hooked up by the fall of 2022. Bergeron said this would be a “game-changer” for many residents, as some could run businesses out of their homes, while it could encourage others to renovate their lakefront cottages into permanent residences.
Bergeron’s closest rival Pierre Raymond said he was happy with how his campaign went and added that he intends to show up at council meetings every month to hold those in power accountable.
“We’ve got a lot of issues in Kazabazua,” said Raymond, adding that the municipality needs to review its road network and decide to take over more private roads throughout the community. “There are a lot of roads that have to be fixed.”
When asked if he will run again in four years, he quipped: “I’m 64-years-old and I’m trying to enjoy my life the best way that I can. We will see when the time comes.”
Former CRA staffer Louise Schnubb came in third place with 12 per cent of the vote, while Paul Liberty came fourth with just over six per cent, according to preliminary results.