Our next profile is of Scott McDonald, running for councilor of Ward 4. Due to time constraints, Mr. McDonald has kindly agreed to email his answer to us. This is not an interview.
Born in Winnipeg, grew up in Aylmer; resident of Ward 4 for the last 17 years
Semi-retired; previously operated Scott's Rolling Bistro for 32 years
What are the greatest challenges you see for the municipality and/or your ward?
Developing and maintaining a good infrastructure and provide support to our elderly and their spouses and families. All along our municipality, we have waterfront on the Ottawa River and no public beaches or decent launching and docking facilities. The Luskville Park still needs lots of work to accommodate a safe environment for the kids. As an example, there's a small building that could be fixed up and winterised and have some volunteer supervision. There isn't much for our kids to do, so we need more structured activities with the help of many volunteers to make this possible. We could involve our teenagers so they can develop their leadership skills. As for the elderly, it is possible to establish partnerships with developers to build affordable and elderly friendly housing. We also need a network of resources to help-out the caregivers on a regular basis.
What would be your first priority if elected?
Chemin des Perès Dominican is in desperate need of repair and asphalt; it should be top priority. I will sit in and listen to what direction the association of tolerance roads (FRAPP) wants to take and work with them in achieving these goals. We have a lot of gravel roads in our ward. Calcium is essential and we need to budget for this. I haven't met with the executive of the FRAPP yet, but I've had conversations with the executive of various associations. At this point in time, there are many questions about the bylaw that was recently implemented. The biggest concern is the cost to the residents for the take-over of tolerance roads, as well as concerns about losing their funding for those that wish to remain independent. The fundamental issue seems to be the lack of resources to take on the responsibility of maintaining these roads.
What do you see that is going well?
Highway 148 and the Mountain Road are two critical access roads leading into our community and are finally taking shape. Their restoration will help attract more tourists and new residents. We have beautiful scenery such as Gatineau Park, small businesses and friendly residents. We need to attract people and show them the treasures the Pontiac has to offer.
What makes you a good candidate for your ward?
Through the years I have gotten to know many people and acquired good knowledge of the various issues that need to be addressed.This municipality has a lot of untapped potential that needs to be developed and I believe that we can succeed in becoming an outstanding place to live and visit. We have the Luskville Falls, the Outaouais River, Gatineau Park, unspoiled nature and lots of history. We need to promote our local treasures to attract more people. We need to sell this municipality as an urban/country community and attract young families or retirees in the area for this very reason. All over the Ottawa valley there are beautiful little towns that have managed to show their uniqueness. Pontiac can do the same.
I want the municipality to become a place where the people are empowered with the desire to volunteer and get active in the community. There is so much talent out there that we need to harvest. We can implement simple and effective ways to communicate what's going on in Pontiac today by tapping into our youth's knowledge of communication technologies.