---Gatineau council meeting highlights
Gatineau’s municipal council held its monthly meeting virtually on April 13, discussing a number of important topics, including a regulation modification allowing leashed dogs in the Boucher Forest. City Clerk Geneviève Leduc opened the meeting with words of sympathy following the recent death of Thérèse Cyr, who was a Gatineau municipal councillor from 1987 to 2005.
--Word from the mayor
Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin extended condolences to Cyr’s family, emphasizing her importance for the community – especially by founding the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival – calling her a great source of local pride and outstanding volunteer for the festival for over 30 years.
Addressing the local state of the pandemic, the Mayor said the situation is very bad, dubbing Covid-19’s third wave a “tsunami”. With around two months to go until the majority of the population is vaccinated, Pedneaud-Jobin reminded people to remain vigilant to prevent propagation despite the recent sunny weather. He added that municipal services are functioning well, considering the circumstances, and confirmed that 133 city employees are in preventative isolation. City officials are working on a plan to increase police presence in local parks over the coming weeks, he said.
With many important people dying unexpectedly over the last year, Bureau said Gatineau’s Toponymy Committee has an important role to play in properly commemorating those people in the future.
The Connaught neighbourhood held their meeting on March 23. The Village Victor-Beaudry neighbourhood will host theirs on April 15. The Deschênes Residents’ Association will hold their meeting on April 19 and the Parc Champlain neighbourhood will hold their meeting on April 28.
Praising residents’ associations for what they do for the community, Duggan emphasized their importance for organizing events, informing the population of local happenings, and participating in public consultations for big projects. He also addressed planning for a proposed project for the construction of a two-storey single-family home in a wooded area located at 46 rue du Brouage. Located close to the street – to the frustration of nearby residents – and within 15 metres of a natural spring, and also on a relatively steep and sandy hill, Duggan said the project has potentially negative environmental impacts, and doesn’t make for smart building – making it a bad project.
--Youth commission project
Municipal council unanimously adopted a resolution approving the Commission jeunesse de Gatineau’s (youth commission) participation in a research project lead by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities at the University of Ottawa. The youth commission’s co-president Adèle Roman explained that the commission operates as a school on citizen participation, regrouping two students from each high school in the city and three elected officials. She thanked municipal council for listening to the youth commission’s demands by granting the opportunity to participate in the University of Ottawa’s project on citizenship and minorities.
Roman said the research initiative should take around seven years to complete. It will largely focus on finding ways to make youth initiatives raise awareness on social democracy on how they can influence democratic culture. She said the project could impact elected officials, public administrations, and society at large by helping understand the importance of including youth in important discussions.
--Questions from the public
Council received 38 questions from residents, with the large majority focusing on recently proposed modifications to services for dog owners aimed to conform to a provincial law established in March 2020.
With a lot of the questions extending beyond the maximal 3-minute allowed length of time, council President and du Versant district councillor Daniel Champagne said some were briefed or not presented during the meeting for efficiency purposes. He assured residents that councillors received and read every single question they sent, including all the attached documents they came with. Champagne encouraged those wanting to further discuss a topic addressed during the question period to reach out to elected officials - whose contact information is available on the city’s website.
--Leashed dogs in the Boucher Forest, and more
Council officialized the Boucher Forest Foundation’s pilot project allowing the presence of leashed dogs in the Boucher Forest, approved the review of its new Plan de Gestion des Matières Résiduelles (PGMR), and granted a $700,000 investment to support local entrepreneurial organizations – including the Aylmer Association of Professionals, Industrials, and Merchants (APICA) – aimed at revitalizing commercial arteries.
Council also invested funds from the programme d’investissement volet-projet (PIVP) to finance a particular urbanism program (PPU) for Old Aylmer, and sealed its deal with a local entrepreneur to open and operate a restaurant inside the Robert-Middlemiss Pavillion within the next five months. They approved financial contributions to Aylmer sector partners, renewed its agreement with the Aylmer Soccer Club for the use of the clubhouse at Parc Jardins-Lavigne, and renewed its partnership with the Groupe scouts Saint-Paul d’Aylmer.
Council rejected a minor variance request proposing to build a two-storey single-family home at 46 rue du Brouage. They approved a motion implementing a program focusing on the sterilization of feral cats in the city, and a $975,000 investment to carry out sanitary sewer extensions on chemin Lakeview between rue Calvados and chemin d’Aylmer. Council adopted to finalize the development of Parc Renard’s second phase. They also approved proclaiming May as skin cancer melanoma awareness month, and May 9th as the international day for migratory birds.