Election 2017: Leslie-Anne Barber



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.


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

Online Survey: Benefiting from Nature in the Pontiac


Do you spend time outside enjoying nature?  If so, McGill University PhD student Dalal Hanna would love to hear from you in an anonymous online survey.  She is conducting a research project on the diverse ways people living in the regions of Bristol and Pontiac benefit from nature, and how they would ideally like to benefit from nature in the future. Dalal does this research because it generates information that can help society come up with improved ways to manage the diverse benefits we get from nature. The project seeks to improve knowledge and is purely academic.

The summarized and anonymous findings of the project will also be shared with your community in December 2018 at a gathering, and made available publicly online and to local land use planners.  

Sondage: profiter de la nature dans le Pontiac


Est-ce que vous passez du temps à apprécier la nature ? Si oui, une étudiante au doctorat à l’Université McGill, Dalal Hanna, a un sondage web anonyme à vous proposer. Elle fait présentement de la recherche sur les diverses façons dont les gens des régions de Bristol et de Pontiac profitent de la nature, et comment ils aimeraient idéalement profiter de la nature dans le futur. Dalal fait cette recherche parce que ça génère de l’information qui peut aider la société à développer des meilleures façons de gérer l’environnent. Son projet cherche à améliorer les connaissances, et est purement académique.

Un sommaire anonyme des résultats sera partagé dans votre communauté en Décembre 2018, ainsi que disponible en ligne.

Si ce projet vous intéresse, s’il vous plait visitez le sondage en ligne ici :


Le sondage prend environ 30 minutes à compléter.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à contacter Dalal Hanna par courriel (dalal.hanna@mail.mcgill.ca). Vous pouvez aussi contacter son superviseur de doctorat, Elena Bennett (elena.bennett@mcgill.ca).

Merci énormément pour votre temps !

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Barn in Luskville



Thomas Soulière

Pontiac2020.ca reader Nina Lépine-Forget alerted us to the fire and sent us this image of the blaze taken just before the arrival of firefighters to the scene

An early morning fire completely destroyed a barn on a farm located at 2002 route 148 (chemin Eardley) in the Luskville sector in the Municipality of Pontiac Monday.

Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac


Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac est une visite auto-guidée de neuf jardins champêtres. L’accent porte sur les méthodes écologiques, les aménagements favorisant la biodiversité et les plantes indigènes. Des artisans du Pontiac seront sur place pour vous faire découvrir leur art, livres et cartes. Les jardiniers vous proposeront quant à eux, des légumes écologiques, des semences et des plantes, ainsi que des tisanes, paniers et différents produits de leur terroir.

Great gardens and gorgeous gifts on tour


Pontiac Gardens and Gifts is a self-guided garden tour featuring nine country gardens in West Quebec’s beautiful Pontiac region. The focus is on organic techniques, wildlife-friendly designs and native plants. In addition, regional artists and artisans will sell their art, books and cards. Some gardens will be selling nursery stock and seeds, organic produce, herbal products and more.