Election 2017: Garry Dagenais

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Kate Aley

Our next profile is with Garry Dagenais, running to become councilor for Ward 2.

Born, raised

Born and raised in Beechgrove.

Profession

Office manager at L&J Towing.

Previous experience on council

I was councilor for Ward 4 for 7 years, beginning 2008.

What is the greatest challenge facing the Municipality?

The lack of communication by council. There’s no harmonization in this municipality. Big time. It’s a problem that council creates, we don’t seem to have harmony on council and without that, trust me, you don’t go forward too fast. When I was council, I sat in the middle; I was the deciding vote for a lot of stuff. It’s not just this current council; there’s always been a division between the wards. We need good leadership, good councilors who are actually there for the right reasons. If you are going run for council, you have to run for the people; your personal agenda can’t be for your gain, it has to be for the municipality.

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

Work on infrastracuture, including the water and sewers [...] and our roads: they need to be upgraded. My previous experience on council will help with finding funds. We still struggle with [Quyon's water] as it was never planned out right; the whole infrastructure was not planned. If we have a water break, [we] do not have shut-off valves for each street. If there’s a break, we need to shut down the whole town to fix it. It’s not a simple fix: the sewer lines are 50 years old, there has never been any major upgrade in all that time. A lot of the paved roads have not been maintained. But it goes hand in hand: are you going to spend a lot of money until you fix water and sewers? [We must] decide on the priorities.

What is going right in this area?

[We are] starting to work with the NCC and our officials, Andre Fortin and Will Amos. That has changed; we are starting to be able to work together to get a lot of improvements. We never seemed to get any progress, no matter who was there before; we seem to have better communication between our elected officials now. I think that we should be able to get more funding for the municipality so long as they understand what we need. Priorities need to be made clear [to them]. Even with the MRC (des Collines), [there was] a lack of communication the long term, especially on Schema and getting stuff done for our municipality. That has been improving.

Why did you decide to run for council again?

My passion. Simple. It’s my community, I believe in it. We can develop this [place] but need the right people with passion who are willing to put time into it.  I ran for council the first time as I had always volunteered in the municipality and I figured I could make better changes by running for council. My record stands on what I did as councilor. It was me that got the gym at the school (Notre Dame de la Joie) and I bought the land for the expansion of the school. I made sure we bought the property; if you didn’t buy it back then you wouldn’t have it now. We got the lagoon system figured out; it took less than six months from when I got in. We bought the land from Hydro Quebec for $1. A lot of things are simple if you put your mind to it. I was one of the first councilors to start putting money into Parks and Recreations. The municipality started to pay to help look after them. We didn’t have any parks in the municipality at that time: just the Eardley Recreation Association. It was pretty well run and paid for by volunteers. The other six parks and skating rinks I did when I was there too.

For me there has never been a border, an issue between the wards. I have family all over [the area]. For me, this municipality has always been one municipality.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Free art classes for the municipality: meet the teachers

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Kate Aley


Thanks to the generosty of the Municipality of Pontiac, four art classes are being offered to our community, absolutely free of charge. Details of the classes can be found in your fall activities bulletin, delivered in your mail box last week. Pontiac2020.ca interviewed the four teachers to find out more about the classes and the artists.

100 Homes in Pontiac Hit by Devastating Tornado Plowing Across Outaouais Region

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Thomas Soulière

It was one minute after five o’clock on Friday afternoon when the tornado that made landfall 9 kilometers away in Dunrobin, Ontario crossed Route 148 in the Breckenridge sector of the Municipality of Pontiac.

A Tale of Two Approaches

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Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady

See Also: When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

The MRC des Collines de Gatineau is comprised of 7 municipalities. The smallest Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette is small enough to be exempt from complying with the Provincial Residuals Strategy. The two most densely populated, Cantley and Chelsea, have respectively 83 and 60 people per square kilometre. These two municipalities also have the highest median household income by a considerable margin.

When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

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Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady


Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and eventually a “ban” of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020.  Municipalities who comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs.   The Municipality of Pontiac has responded by passing a resolution to initiate door to door collection with costs paid for by the residents. 

Fun for all: new play equipment at Onslow Elementary

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Kate Aley

If you hear a higher pitch of childhood enjoyment coming from the Onslow Elementary School playground at break time, it's probably due to the exciting new playground equipment installed there last week. Pontiac2020.ca asked Home and School committee representative Stacy Johnston for some details.

Pontiac Community Gym hopes to open by end of year

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Kate Aley

Despite some setbacks and delays, work continues on the building on Clarendon Street that will house the Pontiac Community Gym. Coordinator Rachelle Dinelle gave Pontiac2020.ca an update.

Dedicated volunteer recognized with Governor General's medal

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Kate Aley

Luskville's Hélène Belisle (above) has been an extraordinary force for good in the Pontiac for decades. She has served as councilor for the Municipality of Pontiac, as a school board commissioner for the Commission scolaire des portages-de-l'Outaouais (CSPO), instigated and still facilitates the breakfast club at Notre Dame-de-la-Joie in Luskville, all while operating her own small business, Salon Chez Hélène. On September 11, Belisle was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians through the office of the Governor General of Canada.

Lacing up for the 2018 Terry Fox Run

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Kate Aley

September brings many things, among them cooler weather, fall fairs and the Terry Fox Run.

Regional coordinater John Petty is once again chasing the elusive goal of having 200 participants at this years run on Sunday, September 16.

Petty, along with his late wife Betty and legendary friend Rick Valin, has been facilitating the run practically since there was one.

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