loader image

Electoral shuffle hits wall in La Pêche

June 17th,2024 | News

Hundreds of La Pêche residents are pushing to maintain seven electoral wards in the municipality in opposition to a bylaw drafted in March of this year to reduce the number to six. 

Following opposition from residents during a public consultation on May 27 at the La Pêche Sports Complex, where there were 28 residents in attendance, the bylaw is entering a second round of modifications. 

“We received four written [statements of opposition], and 12 people took [to] the microphone to express their opinion,” he added about what took place during the consultation. “People were either unfavourable to La Pêche moving from seven to six districts or did not agree with the proposed boundaries.”

The drafted bylaw removes Ward 7 (Edelweiss), reassigning its residents to Wards 5 (Lascelles-Farrellton) or 6 (Wakefield). The municipal boundaries of Ward 2 (Lac-des-Loups) are also modified in the bylaw, with the ward’s northwest side being integrated into Ward 1 (East Aldfield).

Terry Boyer was one of the residents who spoke out during the consultation.

“During a council meeting, I asked the question, ‘What doesn’t work with [a municipal council of] seven?’ and the deputy mayor said that it worked well,” said Boyer. “Why change something that works?” 

“At six [councillors], you will make the decisions,” said another resident, Benoit Proulx, pointing at the mayor. 

“Meanwhile, with seven, there are more members, [so] it’s more democratic.”

In an interview in May, Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux told the Low Down that the bylaw was drafted for several reasons, but mainly: over 200 rural municipalities in Quebec function with six municipal wards, and reducing the number of wards would both provide a better balance in voter populations throughout the municipality and save the municipality $27,000 per year.

“A registry was opened in May, and we received more than 100 signatures opposing the second draft…requiring a public consultation,” added Lamoureux.

Proulx was among several residents who stated that they disliked the idea of three versus three situations arising at municipal meetings in a six-councillor setup, with the mayor being the tie-breaker.

Ward 4 Masham Coun. Pierre LeBel expressed his concerns with the bylaw as well. 

“The west [end] would lose one councillor – they have [over] 60 percent of the population,” said LeBel.

He stated that this side of the municipality would not be represented proportionally with the proposed changes. 

Lamoureux said that the municipal council is now working on adopting a third draft of the bylaw. 

He added that the date for another public consultation about the new draft will be posted on the municipal website as soon as it has been determined. 

This third draft will then be sent to Quebec’s electoral representation commission, which will then directly receive any concerns from residents still opposing the bylaw and decide whether or not the third draft is acceptable. 

According to LeBel, the commission has previously stepped in twice in similar situations in La Pêche – in 1986 and 1992. 

Both times, he said, the commission recommended maintaining seven municipal wards. 

Latest Headlines

News

HELLO SUMMER!

THE LOW Down is on holidays!

The office will be closed from July 10 to July 23. There will be NO EDITION published on July 17 or 24. Our next edition will be on July 31.

News

A fiery 40th

Wakefield’s treasured wooden bridge – a village icon that had spanned the Gatineau River for 69 years – was a fiery inferno. Villagers were out on their docks or scattered along the riverbank, watching the structure crack and bust apart span by span – many of them, like Garnett and her partner, Norma Walmsley, aghast as the violent flames tore through the nearly 90 metres of wood in a matter of minutes. It was precisely 40 years ago from this edition’s publication date. 

Letters

Hills peace and justice group giving us hope

The Editor, In response to Stephanie Turple’s “Upholding western values” (July 3 edition) and what the group Hills for Peace and Justice calls (H4P&J) “‘genocide and colonization’” (June 12 edition) As per the March 26, UN Human Rights Council’s reasonable...

Hard-hitting local news delivered right to your mailbox (or in your inbox!)

Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

Digital Subscription

Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

Digital Subscription