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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

‘X’ marks the spot Nov. 7

Get out and vote. Just do it.

No matter if you are pro-ATV, anti-development, pro-trail, or want to see Airbnbs tossed out the window — vote.

Maybe you want to see high-speed internet connectivity improve throughout the Hills over the next four years or hope that the roads in your ward get a little more attention? Are our current political leaders doing enough to combat climate change? What about affordable housing? Taxes? Wherever your loyalty lies, now is the time to choose the person you think will work for you over the next four years. On Nov. 7 voters throughout the Hills will head to the polls to choose those people.

In 2017, voters in Chelsea were far more engaged than those in nearby municipalities, with over 60 per cent (60.5) of eligible voters casting their ballots. It’s not a surprise, given that the controversial $2.23 million Voie Verte community trail was on the table.

In La Pêche, just over half of the population voted – 50.1 per cent – in what turned out to be one of the closest races in history with Guillaume Lamoureux dethroning two-decade mayor Robert Bussière by just 32 votes. Voter turnout in 2017 dropped significantly throughout the MRC des Collines region: just 40.4 per cent of Cantley residents cast their ballots in 2017; 46.5 per cent voted in Kazabazua; and 46.7 per cent turned up at polling stations in Low.

Will local issues this year push more people to vote? In Chelsea, it’s former councillor Pierre Guénard who is up against Shelley Fraser for the mayor's seat, with outgoing Mayor Caryl Green walking away after 12 long years. The two hopefuls are sparring over development, affordable housing, climate change and the controversial Bill 96, which has most English-speaking Quebecers on edge. It’s important to note that Fraser does not speak French and that will certainly be her biggest challenge in swaying voters this week. She told voters that, win or lose, she will commit to learning French following the election.

In La Pêche, it’s newcomer Luc Richard who is challenging incumbent Mayor Lamoureux. The big issue for Richard is the use of ATVs on municipal roadways. Richard calls a 2018 public consultation on the issue into question, while Lamoureux stands by the results that show two-thirds of residents are against having ATVs on municipal roads. Richard wants to scrap Airbnbs, whereas Lamoureux wants to regulate them properly.

Up in Kazabazua, water access has been the biggest issue over the past several years, as coveted public access to Danford Lake was removed by private landowners. Incumbent Mayor Robert Bergeron and his outgoing council have recently obtained land to build a public boat launch and wharf along the Gatineau River, with hopes of constructing Phase 1 (non-motorized boat launch, floating wharf) before next summer. His challengers are Louise Schnubb, who wants to give Kaz a facelift, and Pierre Raymond who told The Low Down that his plan is to attract more businesses to the area and revitalize the village core. The fourth challenger is Paul Liberty.

In Cantley, it’s David Gomes up against Aimé Sabourin. Gomes is being endorsed by outgoing Cantley Mayor Madeleine Brunette.

These are all important issues in our region and it’s essential that we get it right. For our seniors, for our young families, and for our future generations. It all starts with a single vote. Yours.


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