Councillor three-year review, Gilles Chagnon
With less than a year left in his electoral mandate and so many goals accomplished, Lucerne district councillor Gilles Chagnon feels proud looking back on what has been a very successful tenure so far.
In his first three years since being elected, Chagnon said he’s put a lot of effort into improving road safety, renovating parks, and advancing a number of major projects benefiting Aylmer’s community, cultural, and recreational services and infrastructure – which are largely coming to fruition.
“I feel like I made the difference,” Chagnon said. “A lot of files weren’t moving forward … and now they’re going to be completed. I find it validating.”
Considering the difficulty of achieving certain victories, Chagnon said the most challenging aspect of the mandate has been monitoring municipal files and ensuring they get completed.
“I didn’t expect as a politician that I needed to constantly follow up with the administration to get files moving forward,” Chagnon said. “If you don’t follow up, it doesn’t move forward … But because of that, I’m a lot more involved in all parts of the process.”
He added that the pandemic has also impacted the progress of numerous projects. But not severely.
“Some got delayed, but nothing got forgotten,” Chagnon said.
Emphasizing how good things have been, however, Chagnon said he’s on the verge of accomplishing every priority he established at the start of his campaign.
Above all others, the biggest accomplishment was getting Municipal council to approve building an eco-centre in Aylmer following its budget discussions, Chagnon said.
For Lucerne, he contributed to a number of what he calls “small victories”, including renovating several neighbourhood parks, installing a wide variety of speeding reduction measures in residential areas, and repaving chemin Klock.
“In my district, I did a little bit of everything in every neighbourhood,” Chagnon said. “There’s isn’t one part of any neighbourhood that was forgotten …. That’s great news.”
Seeing considerable progress made for numerous major projects like the construction of the new Robert-Middlemiss Pavillion at the Marina, the Lucy Faris Library project, and the plan for a sportsplex in the Plateau, Chagnon said the sector has seen an unprecedented level of investment in the last three years.
“Since we’ve been amalgamated, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many big projects come to Aylmer,” Chagnon said. “We need to continue in that direction.”
He also highlighted the city’s approval of the Boucher Forest Management and Development Plan, and continual progress of the Parc des Cèdres revitalization project as huge steps forward for the sector.
As a life-long Aylmerite with passionate civic pride, Chagnon believes his experience living in Lucerne and knowledge about its residents and how they live greatly contributed to his success.
“I didn’t spend a lot of time researching people’s needs, because I’ve been here for 60 years,” Chagnon said. “Being there for so long, there’s not a lot of new stuff.”
He added that strong collaboration with other Aylmer councillors also played a major role, especially in advancing major projects.
“The fact that we work together brings us back a lot,” Chagnon said.
For the rest of his mandate, Chagnon said he will continue prioritizing speed reduction measures, ensure a skatepark gets built at Parc Renard, and that the city puts the final touches on a number of almost-complete projects – mostly park renovations.
“It’s important to ensure that projects get done,” Chagnon said, noting that he also wants a few pedestrian sidewalks installed along boulevard Wilfrid-Lavigne.
“Is that something I can do next year?” Chagnon said. “I hope so. I’ll try to prioritize it. I want to position the district to respond well during the next mandate.”
As for major projects, Chagnon said the eco-centre, the sportsplex – for which a municipal meeting is taking place in January – and the new library’s construction will be top-of-mind.
He added that the Société de Transport de l’Outaouais’ tramway project, the Boucher Forest’s management and development plan, as well as the development of Parc des Cèdres are also very important to him and signficant news for the sector.
Noting that he recently voted against the city’s newly adopted Land Use and Revised Development Plan, Chagnon stressed that the big projects on the way in Aylmer need to be accompanied by adequate essential service infrastructures to effectively accommodate residents.
“My area is growing,” Chagnon said. “It just doesn’t have the infrastructure to address the needs.”
Still with plenty of big tasks on the horizon and a desire to see them through to completion and to continue improving quality of life in Lucerne and Aylmer, Chagnon said he looks forward to running for office during the next municipal election in November of 2021.
“I feel like I can keep making a difference,” Chagnon said. “I want to ensure that we can advance files.”