Our next interview is with Sue Lamont, running for councilor for ward 4.
Candidate for councilor, Ward 4
Born in Ottawa, moved to Pontiac when married and has been a resident of Pontiac for 46 years.
Almost 40 years working for a major supermarket; 15 years as a customer service manager working with approximately 80 employees.
What is the greatest challenge facing this municipality and your ward?
Economic growth by and for the community; this is the biggest challenge for the municipality as a whole. We have to get zoning in place so we can get affordable day care in our communities with government help to set up the businesses. I would like to see two in each area. It is a small business [and] any kind of small business needs development to hire local people and keep them in the community. They can go to university in 25 minutes from here; let them go to university and come back here and get some development going.
Young families are moving into our community because it is affordable. We are 20 minutes from town, but the young families don’t have day care; we have one day care in this area and what we have is full. We can hire people in this community to run those positions
Second, I am a senior now, [and so] my interest is […] in services to stay in the home. They did a wonderful 2011 survey; it touched on all the needs of the community but its six years later and they are still working on it. We need a list of handyman services, which [means] hiring people in our community. It does not need to be subsidized; we just need a list of services. Seniors rely on family, but if they knew that list was available they would be calling [...] we need to communicate this information. Meals on Wheels, there is zero in Municipality of Pontiac. We rely on Campbell’s Bay. I would like to develop that as a business, as we have an aging population; one of our community services could run it, senior citizens get to stay in their homes.
If elected, what is the first thing you would like to do?
Because I am new [to council], I would get to know my fellow councilors and learn how the system works so I, as a councilor, can truly have an influence; that is what I want. We did well recently with economic and tourism growth here. The [UPA] Open Doors, the Luskville Falls, new ventures opening like Pontiac Hops. Artists and artisans; they are offering free lessons. Let’s develop that. My back-of-the-mind plan is markets from the beginning of Terry Fox Road to Gold Mine Road: garden markets, craft markets, community gardens in each sector and they can sell the produce every weekend: tourists will come in especially for that. In winter time, let’s have some activities to bring people out of the cities: hot chocolate!
What is going right in this area?
Roads are getting done, [work on] the Highway 148 and Mountain Road. It opens us to tourism. Successful community activities; we have not seen stuff like that for 20 years. We have annual activities like the Luskville Country Fair, Venturing Hills, Christmas craft bazaars; it’s all about developing what we have in the Pontiac.The grist mill [in Quyon] could be developed but it is in real bad shape. How much money do we have to put towards developing special projects like that versus fixing the roads? It could be a tourist attraction; we need to develop stuff like that.
Why would you be a good representative for this ward?
Communications skills, people skills. I have a ton of energy for my age. I have vision, I am organized and I like to get things done right. “Cover the four corners”, that’s what I call it, and do it right. For me, honestly, you need to be one voice under a strong leader: everyone works on the same page to get things done. It has to be a priority; otherwise you are kibitzing all the time. When you have a small population, everything is tight. For me, we are all one community. Communication is a key factor if you are going to be successful. We have to know each other; we need to work as a team. All the rest is communication and coaching.