Election 2017: Leslie-Anne Barber

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley


Our next interview is with Leslie-Anne Barber, candidate for Ward 6.

Born, raised

I was born in Valleyfield, Quebec and grew up in Thetford Mines, Quebec. I moved to the region for university in 2005 and moved to Pontiac in 2015.

Profession

l am an academic administrator of graduate studies, overseeing the administration of all management programs (Masters and PhDs) at the University of Ottawa.

What is the greatest challenge facing the municipality?

Originally, I believed one of the biggest challenges was economic development as a whole; finding sectors of development that would be good and fruitful without compromising the beauty of the area. Since [the candidate's meeting on] Sunday, my vision has evolved and I would say unity is one the biggest issues. I came in with a fresh perspective of wanting to serve my community, so I came in with grand ideas of economic development… then I realized first we need to learn to get along and work together. I think I knew of the challenges, but I didn't know the intensity of it. I have no ties [here], I have no bias. I bring that sense of energy and enthusiasm of what could be and hopefully that will be enough to get the ball rolling, to create a sense of belonging and collaboration. If the ward isn’t doing well, the municipality cannot do well and I hope that’s what I bring to the table.

If elected, what is the first thing you would like to do?

I think there are small wins: as I said in the [candidates] meeting, [matters of] safety. At the intersection of Hwy. 148 and ch. Fortin, the lights do not turn on at night. My understanding is that the developer owns the land but does not want to pay for the electricity. More broadly, my priority is to help the mayor to find where we want to go. After that, categorize all our needs and wants in terms of urgency and priority. I like to think my education and my common sense would allow me to be that impartial voice. There are some basic needs that I would value, like water in Quyon. I would in no way prioritize trivial or smaller emergencies over [access to] water.

What is going right in this area?

There are many things going right. I love living here; I would not trade it for anything. It’s got the space, the scenery, it has a huge power of attraction; but more so, it has already evolved a lot in the two years I’ve been here. When I moved here, houses were still being built, many lots were empty [and] now they are more established; now there is a new sector on Lilac and at the base of the Luskville Falls. My understanding is that, although they are not necessarily being built “green”, the intention is to allow growth but not necessarily allow all kinds of growth. From what I’ve seen, there is a will to grow healthily without allowing anything to just happen. Sometimes it’s better to do something proactively than to fix it afterwards. If we fight to get the proper rules in place to allow businesses to come, it allows us to establish a vision of where we want to go.

I feel like [...] you can’t keep everything intact but still expect people to come and, at the same time, if you want people to come you also have to allow the space to do it. I referred [at the meeting] to Hendrick Farm in Chelsea. That’s not necessarily what we want here, but the fact that they could build a partnership between the town of Chelsea and developers... it shows hope that we can do the same.

What made you decide to run for council?

On a purely rational front, I have the academic background to support and substantiate my analysis of issues at council. It’s part service to others - that’s always been a strong element of the way I do things – service to my community and to my neighbours, but part of me wants to also challenge myself. I get to push myself in terms of knowledge and expertise and at the same time, it allows me to add the human component to it. It was something I did in my former job a lot, mediation between teams, and it’s something I did well. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I do have the commitment to do my best and help others do well.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

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by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

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by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

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