Caroline Bourgeois leads the close race at Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles

Security and public transport problems became very important in the municipal confrontation between the incumbent mayor and the newcomer Lyne Lapierrière.

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A seesaw battle Sunday night had incumbent mayor Caroline Bourgeois of Projet Montréal leading the way in her bid for a second term as director of the Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles district.

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Bourgeois was in a tight race with political newcomer Lyne Lapierrière.

Against a backdrop of high-profile shootings and anguish over whether the REM de l’Est light rail project will be extended to Rivière-des-Prairies, public safety and public transportation were key issues in the mayoral campaign.

During the campaign, Bourgeois and Lapierrière tried to persuade voters that they had the expertise to solve the municipality’s most pressing problems.

Safety and security were cited as key concerns among RDP voters following a triple murder last August.

Several other gang-related shootings have some residents concerned that they or their children could be caught in the crossfire.

“They are scared and worried,” Bourgeois said in an interview before voting day.

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Montreal police have stepped up patrols and will monitor a new surveillance camera to be installed at a major intersection. The municipality has assigned manual laborers to clean up and monitor activities in the parks, and Bourgeois says it is committed to providing a space for young people to gather after school.

His party also promised to build a new police station in the RDP.

Surrounded by the 40 and 25 freeways, RDP has suffered from poor public transit for decades and Bourgeois says the neighborhood should be included in the REM project.

Currently, the northeast section of the light rail network is scheduled to end in northern Montreal.

“There will be four stops at PAT, but none at RDP,” said Bourgeois, 37, who was elected mayor of the far east district in a 2018 election by election.

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“We can’t call it REM de l’Est and not include RDP”

Lyne Lapierrière is a political newcomer who has dedicated her career to the construction industry.
Lyne Lapierrière is a political newcomer who has dedicated her career to the construction industry. Photo of Ensemble Montreal.

After spending more than 30 years in the construction industry, Lapierrière said he had the management experience to improve the quality of life for residents.

One of its main goals was to make it easy for residents to travel to and from Montreal. The arrival of REM will improve public transport for the citizens of Pointe-aux-Trembles, but increased service on the popular river transport service linking Pointe-aux-Trembles to the Old Port is vital. The river ferry, which started as a pilot project in 2019, could run for nine to 10 months a year, he estimated.

Both candidates agreed that public transportation in RDP needs to be improved, as some residents are a 45-minute bus ride from the nearest metro station.

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Other districts in the far east were left with incumbents who have been in office for decades. Luis Miranda won comfortably in Anjou and politician Michel Bissonet was re-elected again in Saint-Léonard with Ensemble Montréal.

In Anjou, Miranda of Team Anjou easily defeated Kettley Beauregard of Projet Montréal.

His team also swept all four council seats.

Miranda, 67, attributed his political success to a practical approach as mayor and a deep understanding of what residents want from their taxes.

“When there’s a snowstorm, I’m on the phone at 5 am with public works, (reminding them) to make sure the sidewalks and bus stops are clear,” said Miranda, who formed the Anjou Team in 2009.

Most of the municipality’s 46,000 residents continue to support it because it maintains parks and green spaces, provides services for the elderly, and allows community groups to use the municipality’s buildings at reduced rates.

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Miranda was first elected mayor of Anjou in 1997 when it was her own city, and she has been elected district mayor in every election since Anjou merged with Montreal in 2001.

“We have a winning formula, why change it?” I ask.

After voting for Valérie Plante in 2017, Miranda this year endorsed Denis Coderre for mayor of Montreal.

Coderre’s party, Ensemble Montréal, did not present candidates in Anjou.

Miranda said Plante has not done a good enough job in economic development.

“There has been too much investment in bike lanes, it is an exaggeration,” he said.

At Mercier-Hochelga-Maisonneuve, Projet Montréal solidified its support in the far east when incumbent mayor Pierre Lessard-Blais won a second term.

Lessard-Blais and attorney Karine Boivin-Roy, a councilor representing Ensemble Montreal, were in a tight race shortly after the polls closed at 8 pm. But a few hours later, Lessard-Blais was declared the winner.

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In Saint – Léonard, The incumbent mayor of the municipality, Michel Bissonnet, of Ensemble Montreal, achieved victory over Nerlande Gaetan of Projet Montreal. Bissonet’s team won all four council seats.

Bissonnet has a long political history, serving as mayor of Saint-Léonard between 1978 and 1981, when it was his own town, and then entering provincial politics. He served as a Liberal member of the National Assembly from 1981 to 2008. He was elected mayor of a municipality for the first time in 2008.

In Montreal East (city), Current mayor Robert Coutu was running for re-election against former councilor Anne St-Laurent. The results were not available Sunday night.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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