Our next interview is with Isabelle Patry, running as councilor for Ward 5.
Born in Gatineau, moved to Quyon when 11 years old.
Realtor, working from Aylmer to Clarendon, for 10 years. Previously worked with husband’s general contractor company: plowing, paving and grading.
What is the greatest challenge facing your ward?
People don’t participate here, where they live. They are close to the city, there is nothing for them in this area. That’s what they tell me: they would like to have an arena, something for the children so they can participate.
Another issue is zoning conflicts. A lot of businesses were here a long time ago, the 70s, 80s: the [owners] are upset because they are not in a [correct] zoning area. There are no commercial properties for any small business to open and operate so they are all kind of illegal. They are running a business from a residential zone, they’re breaking the law but they have no choice. There is no other land available. It’s been like this for years. We have a lot of friends because we are in construction and they are all in that same situation.
When I decided to [run for] council, it all started with the floods. We used to live on Cedarvale so we went to help the people because we know them. A friend of mine who moved to the area, when it flooded, her house was threatened to be destroyed along with many others. Then we had the episode of the hall they are building in Quyon. I tried to say it’s really not a good time to build that, because people are flooding, they’re losing their houses but you are still going ahead. That building is empty, it is not a home, but you are still building on a flood plain. This is unfair and that makes me sad. I think that it shouldn’t be that way. It is not because you are on council that you can do what you want. You do what you can to try to be fair and not look for your own interests. It’s very important.
If elected, what is the first thing you would like to do?
Get to know the other councilors, find out our needs, put priority to our needs. Also get to meet the employees of the municipality, what they encounter through all their [work] and try to solve it in a good manner and a respectful way. I think some of them do not get the respect from citizens, you can see in their face. To make the environment happy and work with them, I believe that it starts with us. If they report [problems] and if you can’t understand, how do you solve it? We need to build the relationship between council and employees.
There are nice activities [here] but they should have bigger signs. At the beginning and the end and middle to publicize the activities going on. The little bulletin, people throw that out, they think that’s garbage. Also people do not think of looking at the municipal website. In Shawville, they have signs for activities and also the kinds of business in town. Others from the outside see we are making the effort.
What is going well in the municipality?
Their plan for paving subdivisions is a good plan. I believe that once you have them all paved, then it helps the municipality in as far as the grading and maintenance. It also making a better revenue; once the roads are good, the houses are worth more and attracts people. I believe they should be paved and get that over with so it is less work and travel for the municipal guys so they can work on something else.
Why would you be good representative for your ward?
My determination. I care, I am mature. To a degree, [as a councilor] you have to understand people, and as realtor we have to get along with all types of people; you need to use finesse. I understand, I listen, I solve and I negotiate. I love to help people and it give me satisfaction that I am part of a transition for change. The best part is, once it happens and you are making it happen, that is the reward: because you were part of it.