---Bulletin’s approach to Gatineau city election coverage
Municipal elections are six months away. The team at the Aylmer Bulletin is ready to provide balanced and interesting coverage of this important campaign. Gatineau re-adjusted the riding boundaries since the last election and there are now five ridings in Aylmer. This means residents may be in different wards than they were last election before the new one was added. Residents should verify if they are in one of the zones that were altered.
Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin announced this year that he is not running again. Like many other big-city mayors, he explained that, after a tenure managing floods, urban planning overhauls and the Covid-19 pandemic, it is time to step away from the mayoral office.
As veteran readers know, the Bulletin pays careful attention to fair reporting and coverage of electoral campaigns. This means articles and photos from the newsroom are tracked for length, size of photos and equal treatment of candidates and campaign issues. The sitting councillors are sources for journalists right on through the campaign for article topics not pertaining to the campaign, but to municipal current and continuing affairs. For articles related to the campaign itself, the councillors and candidates will be identified clearly. The pages in print and online will be identified as campaign news.
--Public debate: October 13
Traditionally, the Bulletin hosts all-candidates debates. Of the three levels of government, the debate between municipal candidates draws the biggest audience. Aylmerites love politics. Three debates on October 13 will be held at the British Hotel and Restaurant. Depending on the Covid-19 contagion rates at the time, the candidates will debate in person, with a limited number of audience members. It will be broadcast, with the option of moderated live questions from the public.
In keeping with print coverage, the debate moderation and hosting is politically unaffiliated.
--Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor are important to electoral campaigns. The Bulletin policy is that the letters be non-repetitive and focused on election issues. Letters not published are letters of endorsement, in addition to the usual policy for those pages. Opinions are welcome in the letters’ section, especially on matters that tease out the differences between candidates on policy matters (tramway vs rapibus, for example).
Because the Bulletin is a small local weekly newspaper, it is impossible to cover every twist and turn in an election campaign. On the other hand, equal treatment of candidates is easier. The big treat for Aylmer is the high caliber of candidates who traditionally run in municipal elections. This is an engaged electorate who are passionate about Aylmer. The options for mayor and for the five district seats are already impressive. Readers, what are your issues?