City Council summary
Gatineau Municipal Council returns for their first council meeting of 2024
On January 23, Gatineau municipal council gathered at Maison du citoyen for the first meeting of 2024. The meeting opened with Mayor France Bélisle, inviting citizens to participate in Gatineau's new hiring campaign and to attend their February 3 job fair, “Journée carrière de la Ville de Gatineau”. This will take place at the Maison du citoyen, at 25 Laurier Street from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The construction of a six-storey, 62-unit building at 35 Wright Street in Hull was approved. The project has faced some negative attention, as a building with heritage value will need to be demolished to complete the construction of the new building. Hull-Wright councillor Steve Moran made sure to confirm that the existing building will not be demolished unless there is a written agreement between Habitations de l'Outaouais métropolitain (HOM) to ensure there will be affordable units.
Gatineau will be purchasing the land on Vanier Road that will be used for the future Ecocentre in the West of the city. “This is a great step for the environment and for local services in Aylmer, said Gilles Chagnon, Lucerne councillor and advocate for the project. “I am very proud of this program. We are nearly there, dear citizens of Aylmer, and I hope that in the next year we will start building,”
Steven Boivin took a moment to highlight that there were many requests for the council to approve new signs on Principale. The councillor stated that this is because Aylmer’s main street will be welcoming new businesses.
The council approved the nomination of new members to Gatineau’s Public Security Commission. Olive Kamanyana, Carrefour-de-l'Hôpital councillor and president of the commission, noted that this change is to allow more citizen members from different parts of the city to have a seat on the commission.
The nomination of a new citizen member of the Urban Planning Advisory Committee was controversial, as some councillors felt the decision would leave the committee without gender parity. The nomination was adopted later during the council meeting with a vote of 12 in favour and 8 against. Mario Aubé, Masson-Angers councillor and committee president, noted that there are more positions on the committee that will need to be filled, and that gender parity would soon be reached. The council also adopted the nomination of a member for the Economic Development committee.
Mayor Bélisle also proposed a measure to alleviate the impact of the increase in the assessment roll on citizens. The latest assessment roll meant that 66% of Gatineau residents were going to face a significant tax increase. The mayor's proposition states that residential municipal taxes would be calculated based on neighbourhood units. This would reduce the impact on low value properties that saw a significant value increase. The increase in certain tax bills would be less significant for properties of lower value. This is made possible by a modification to the Municipal Taxation Act by Bill 39.
Photo caption: Screenshot of Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle during the opening statement for the first municipal council meeting of 2024 which took place on January 23.
Photo credit: Screenshot by Sophie Demers.