Our next interview is with Jean Paquin, candidate for Ward 6.
In Gatineau, moved to Breckenridge in 2013.
I own my own business as a notary, legal advisor and title attorney.
What is the greatest challenge facing this municipality and your ward?
Attracting things, that being businesses, people, anything. [My opinion is] people need to see that this region is really wonderful. The problem is making people know that it is wonderful. The only way for people to know what is here is […] for the mayor to be ‘out there’ and shout out loud that this municipality needs to have people come here. We need money to actually build the municipality, the community. The only way grocery stores, gas stations will open up is if they will make money. I know people like the quiet; I’m not talking about destroying the essence of this area, but there is a way to find equilibrium.
In Ward 6, people need to feel they belong here [as] they don’t view themselves as being from here. My perception is they feel they are the ‘milking cow’ of the Pontiac; if you look at how much they provide, money for the municipality, and how much they get back, it is quite substantial. It feels unequal. They feel they are disconnected. They feel like they don’t get their fair share of what they’re putting in. It is the biggest challenge of this area.
If elected, what is the first thing you would like to do?
On the municipal level, we need to get rid of personal agendas on council. They want to get elected because they […] have personal interests; it’s […] not for their ward and that’s not how the municipality moves forward. No-one will invest money in the municipality if they don’t see that it is properly run. No political party or person will invest money if they lack confidence, they’ll be scared of the backlash. If the Pontiac appears in a newspaper, saying “corruption ”, nobody in their political mind will touch this place, they won’t want the collateral damage. I don’t blame them. We need a vision. We need people who will to work together with a plan, a vision. If we are to attract high tech. or any other industry to this area, [people] will need to live somewhere, to buy houses, to shop. We have to find a way to position Pontiac; it is key. We are so close to Ottawa.
What is going right in this area?
Andre Fortin, who is from Quyon. Also Will Amos [who is] also very open. I think it’s a very promising future for Pontiac. We have a sympathetic ear. I haven’t been here that long, since 2013, but what I’ve seen, speaking to those people, they’re open to negotiate for doing something. Pontiac right now is like a blank canvas and [...] a blank canvas provides you with a lot of opportunities. In Pontiac, we are in the lower position; the only place we can go is up. I see opportunity here but it will take a few years. Other municipalities have done it and we can do it here too. We need a longer term plan. You can’t run a business day-to-day; you have to know where you are going.
Why will you be a good representative for the ward?
The ideas that I have and my background. My dad was a mechanic, my mom worked part-time at a hospital. We didn’t have a lot of money, I had to pay for my own schooling, I worked part-time at night, I renovated houses and sold them. I know what it takes when you really want to do it yourself. I’m not jumping in there because I just want to get elected; I want to make sure I’m able to help and I have the tools and the background. I have a Masters degree in law and am familiar in [those] legal processes. My problem analysis: I don’t just say what people want to hear; I look at the problem and see what the possible solutions are.
I want to work with people who have a vision. I want to help them put that in place. We need people with a vision, not to separate but to unify. Pontiac has a lot to bring to the table but we need to dust it off and make it shine again.