Political inequality, a thorn for the Regional Municipality of Caraquet

Mayor Bernard Thériault organized this meeting at the request of a group of citizens challenged by the number of councilors that the Regional Municipality of Caraquet will contain. Just under a hundred people attended the event.

The transition committee decided that the territory of the current city would contain four municipal councilors against five for the rest of the territory. There will be two for the Bas-Caraquet and Pokesudie sector, one for the territory of Saint-Simon, one for Evangeline and Village-Blanchard and a final one to represent Pokemouche and Landry Office.

The members of the Caraquet municipal council.

The town council of Caraquet.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réal Fradette

Yves Roy is a member of the group of citizens concerned about the inequality of seats which, according to him, favors communities outside the city. He argued that Caraquet was going to hold 53% of the population of the new entity (4,148 inhabitants out of 8,194) and 69% of the tax base ($395 million out of $616 million) as of January 1, 2023, but one less seat in the new council.

Majority position

Roberta Dugas, mayor from 1992 to 2001, opposed this proposed formula and demanded equality.

If someone is in a majority position, why would they need to negotiate? Despite all that has been said by people of good will, we do not agree. The big one never wanted to crush the little one. We’ll get together and see what we can doshe commented at the end of the meeting.

The group does not rule out the idea of ​​knocking on the door of the Minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform, Daniel Allain.

On the other hand, Christian Norris, citizen of Caraquet, finds in this formula chosen by the transition committee ensures an element of fairness and debates that will arise around the new council as of January 1, 2023.

It will reassure people from outside Caraquet to know that their voice counts, that they will be listened to and that we can build a future together. And that requires this kind of representativeness. »

A quote from Christian Norris, citizen of Caraquet

The two arms of the same body

The mayor of Bas-Caraquet, Roger R. Chiasson, finds it hard to understand this fear in the face of the political imbalance that would play against Caraquet. He reminds us that his village and the City of Caraquet are like two arms of the same body. The village has built important infrastructures, such as the shipyard, with the support of Caraquet.

Caraquet needs us and we need Caraquet, he judges. We already share a lot of services. We will not interfere with the advancement of Caraquet. We work very well together and we don’t want to back down. We will have mutual alliances in a healthy democracy.

Caraquet Mayor Bernard Thériault speaks to the crowd.

The mayor of Caraquet, Bernard Thériault.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réal Fradette

Without saying it openly, Mayor Bernard Thériault was on the defensive in front of this public exercise. But he quickly regained his confidence that we know him.

If I was on the defensive, I haven’t been for a long time now. I was reassured to see the community and we would have won the floor, as the expression says. We have different voices and we had a great debate. I feel a little lighter. I am happy with the result. It’s been two or three weeks since there was a resistance group and it’s legitimate. Normally a public meeting decides the fate of such groups and I haven’t heard anything here to change our minds. believes Bernard Thériault.

Minister Allain must make known his positions on all the entities of the reform at the beginning of the summer.


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