Thursday, October 28

‘Much more than a bedroom community’: New Mayor Lachance foresees a bright future for St-Lazare

Introducing the first mayor of St-Lazare

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The municipal elections in St-Lazare this month were marked by a historic first: the election of the city’s first female mayor.

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Although she came to the election ready to campaign, with a detailed platform on her website and her face on posters throughout the city, in the end the popular former councilor Geneviève Lachance won her seat by acclamation. Six of the eight municipal council positions were also acclaimed.

With the campaign off her plate, Lachance is ready to go to work. The next few years will be important for the city, he said. St-Lazare has grown to become the second largest municipality in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, and that affects infrastructure, environment, culture, economic development and more.

It’s time to put aside the idea that St-Lazare is nothing more than a sleepy suburb, Lachance said.

“We are much more than a bedroom community,” he said. “We can be known as leaders in the environment. We can be known for our equestrian heritage. We can be known as a family community. We have so much more to offer. “

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In addition to meeting the needs of its growing population, the city must also look ahead to prepare for the inevitable challenges it will face with the arrival of a new hospital just across the border in Vaudreuil, as well as new regional planning mandates and global concerns. with local impacts, such as climate change, he said.

Although the impacts of many of these problems will not be felt for years, even decades, for Lachance, now is the time to act. Planning ahead will allow St-Lazare to take advantage of the opportunities created by these big changes and mitigate some of the potentially negative impacts, he said.

“I don’t like being reactive. I’m a planner, I like to know what’s coming, ”she said.

Tackling these challenges is not just a job for the mayor and council. Under his leadership, Lachance aims to bring together the city council, city staff and citizens to share information, work together and create a shared vision that will allow St-Lazare to shine regionally, he said.

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Lachance said he hopes that better communication and more meaningful opportunities to participate in planning decisions will inspire a more diverse group of citizens to become involved in local politics in the future.

“If you feel like you will have an impact, that you can contribute, you will be more involved,” he said. “People don’t know what we do. There is a misconception about what we do and our powers. We don’t just take care of trash and snow removal. We are much more than that, we touch many important things that directly impact people “.

For Lachance, being the first woman to be elected mayor in St-Lazare is important because the elected leadership must represent the population. While other women have been elected to council, in the city’s history, they have generally been outnumbered by men.

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“We need to have a council that represents the population,” he said. “We all have different perspectives, we all think differently.”

A good example, he noted, is the perspective provided by the other woman elected to the council (also by acclamation): District 1 representative Tanja Minisini. Minisini has long been an active volunteer in local playgroups and elementary schools and also has several young children to look after.

“A large part of the population of St-Lazare are young people and young families. We need someone at the table who has that perspective, ”Lachance said.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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