Former Gatineau mayor Marc Bureau back at city council: wins by-election in Parc-de-la-Montagne-Saint-Raymond district
The results of the municipal by-election held in the Parc-de-la-Montagne-Saint-Raymond district are now in: Marc Bureau, former mayor of Gatineau (2005-2013), will take over as councillor for this electoral region. Following the death of former Councillor Louise Boudrias, who sadly passed away last August after a battle against cancer, the City of Gatineau was legally obliged to call a by-election to fill this important position on the municipal council and the plenary committee. At a special ceremony held at the Théâtre de l'Île on October 28, 2022, Marc Bureau was officially sworn in. For this event, Gatineau's political elite was present, including almost all of the current municipal council. France Bélisle, Mayor of Gatineau, warmly congratulated the new councillor: "Mr. Bureau, your place is waiting for you at City Hall! [...] We look forward to working with you to carry out this mandate and you will have the opportunity to put all your talent and experience to work, and I thank you. [...] Our discussions on your background, your motivations, your interests will also allow me to make a place for you in our structure, our committees and our commissions.”.
Marc Bureau began his swearing-in speech by highlighting the work of the late Louise Boudrias: "My first words go to former Councillor Louise Boudrias. During my door-to-door visits, hundreds of citizens told me how much they appreciated her kindness, her frankness, her determination and her efficiency, and it became clear to me that people were looking for someone with experience.”. The new councillor, who travelled through the neighbourhoods of his district many times during his election campaign, mentioned that he was particularly touched by the residents of the district: "I met thousands of citizens: enriching and sometimes upsetting conversations. To enter most of the houses in a neighbourhood is to witness all the faces of said neighbourhood: poor, rich, seniors, families, immigrants, youth. It is with this baggage of citizen encounters that I enter the job". As for his main priorities as a (re)elected official, Marc Bureau notes: "Over the next three years, major challenges await us: becoming a more efficient organisation focused on service to citizens, facing the fight against climate change and solving the housing crisis. We must also welcome the largest construction site in the history of the city of Gatineau, the new regional hospital, by helping to relocate merchants from the industrial park. [We must] ensure that these businesses stay in Gatineau. We will also have to invest to accelerate the repair of our roads and infrastructures. In terms of the environment, [...] my ambition is for our city to be recognized as a reference in Quebec, and to do this we will need to work with our environmental organizations and involve our citizens - we will have to be open.”.
Marc Bureau, who ran for council as an independent, won the election with a total of 1,703 votes, or 61.86% of the vote. He thus largely surpassed his political opponents: independent candidates Rémi Bergeron (21 votes), Jérémie Carrier (70 votes), Jacques G. Lavoie (142 votes), Mathieu Paquette (227 votes), as well as the only candidate running under the wing of the Action Gatineau party, Anne-Marie Roy (590 votes). Although this victory is significant in terms of the percentage of votes obtained by Marc Bureau, very few residents of the Parc-de-la-Montagne-Saint-Raymond district who were eligible to vote went to the polls on October 23. With a total of 2,760 votes, only 27.38% of the 10,081 residents eligible to vote participated in this by-election.
Photo caption: Marc Bureau during his official swearing-in, accompanied by Clerk Andrée Loyer (1) and Mayor France Bélisle (2)
Photo credit: Sonia Roy