Julie Cool, Action Gatineau’s candidate for Aylmer district councillor
Hoping to continue the groundwork established in the last four years, local resident Julie Cool has decided to launch into the Aylmer district electoral race.
Cool announced her candidacy in a press release issued by Action Gatineau on July 15. She told the Aylmer Bulletin that she decided to run for office shortly after learning that current Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau decided against a second mandate. “I really thought Audrey did an excellent job,” Cool said, noting a need to fill Bureau’s shoes. “She did extraordinary work for the people of the neighbourhood with her presence and her leadership.”
Approaching the November 7 Municipal election, Cool is looking forward to connecting with residents to get a pulse of what the population needs and wants from the city. For now, one of her main priorities is ensuring the development of complete streets on local transportation arteries for ecological purposes and to safely accommodate various types of transportation. “I think during the pandemic, people have discovered the desire to go outside to walk and bike,” Cool said. “So, for me, it’s very important to develop a city where people can go out and meet and go to school in full security.”
She added that facilitating citizen engagement in municipal projects is also vitally important to her, especially when it comes to protecting green spaces and developing residential and commercial infrastructure. “We need to make our paved spaces greener and to preserve areas that are already green,” Cool said. “I want to help create communities where people can move around easily, namely through public transportation.” Particularly in the Aylmer district, Cool says the city needs to develop more recreational infrastructure for the youth and gathering places like community centres, and address the severe affordable housing shortage.
Cool joined the Action Gatineau Party shortly after its creation in 2012. She is a strong believer in the power of teamwork and the party’s program, specifically developed according to residents’ needs and demands from the city with respect to environmental protection and public participation. “Gatineau is now a large city,” Cool said, noting that the Action Gatineau Party boasts more than 2,000 members and does politics with a grassroots approach. “We must adopt a common vision of where we want to go.”
With an extensive background in social work, community service, and four diplomas from three universities – McGill, UOttawa, and Saint Paul – Cool believes she is the best person to lead the Aylmer district because she is fully dedicated to doing what is good for the community. “I have a passion for valuing people’s voices and mobilizing citizens,” Cool said, stating that her next order of business is to go door-to-door to connect with residents in her district. “I think it’s all about emphasizing the residents’ preoccupations.”
Living in Aylmer for more than 20 years and raising a family there in the process, Cool is a longstanding residents’ association representative who has helped organize countless activities for local youth and families, and has also served as President of the Aylmer Sector Partners’ board of directors. “I know my city and my neighbourhood so well,” Cool said. “I have a certain proximity that to me is very important.”
A mother of three and grandmother, Cool says Aylmer is an exceptionally good place to raise a family and live peacefully, and that she would be thrilled to help perpetuate that identity going forward. “It’s not all cities that have that,” Cool said. “We have a quality of life that offers itself to all generations.” Cool is also married to Aylmer MP Greg Fergus.