---Gatineau elections 2021: will voters let another Marina building fiasco slip by?
The design competition is being launched for the Lucy-Faris library building. This comes as the season of using the new Marina building is fully wound down – a season that saw visitors to the new Marina building offered over-grown weeds outside an empty building. Aylmerites scratched their heads at Gatineau’s decision to build a new Marina building when it would have been so much cheaper to renovate the old one; plus would have kept a local business family running a popular destination.
To this date, the city must re-open a call for tenders to restauranteurs for that site. None wanted to run a restaurant in the last tender period. Not a single applicant felt a business was possible with the new design.
The level of trust Aylmerites have in the city’s ability to handle this major project in the centre of an already-precarious business community in Old Aylmer is very low.
And this, with a municipal election a little under a year away.
What do Aylmerites want in their next city council? This edition of the Bulletin has many accounts of how vibrant Aylmer is, how much can be accomplished when residents speak up and call in the advocacy of municipal representatives.
Now is the time, readers, to push for the changes wanted in Aylmer. Are there commitments readers wish their councillors would make? Are there candidates waiting in the wings who can advocate for a better Gatineau? This is the time to bring these priorities to councillors and candidates for them to be laid-out in public as commitments. It is the time to follow committee meetings and be vocal about these issues.
Six months from now, the campaign will be in full swing. Then it will be a time when candidates steer clear of promises that they aren’t sure have full public support. Between now and the summer barbecue season (covid-permitting), is the time to write letters and gather support for local priorities that residents wish to see on the electoral platforms during the election campaign period.
Readers are invited to write letters to the editor at any time, but this pre-election campaign period is even a more pressing time for public letters. The public opposition to a new Marina building was strong but not vocal or organized. The public opposition to a new Lucy-Faris library building was similar: too little too late. What are the next issues at hand for voters? And will the public push for their candidates to advocate in a real way?