Vigorous public questions
An earful for City Council meeting in Aylmer
Gatineau city council made its annual trek west to Aylmer, May 15, for the regular monthly council meeting at the Place des Pionniers. The session opened with a message from the mayor and any councillors wishing to do so. A proclamation supporting the aims of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was delivered. “Words have power,” said Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin; “the City sends a strong message, in this sense, by supporting the efforts associated with this day.”
During their introductory remarks, Aylmer’s four councillors updated the public on specific Aylmer matters. Audrey Bureau, Gilles Chagnon, Mike Duggan and Maude Marquis-Bissonnette all spoke.
New ecological projects within Boucher Forest are planned for the coming months, some thanks to city financing under the Fonds vert program. And of the major files led by Aylmer councillors, Audrey Bureau is the council representative for the Park des Cèdres redevelopment, Gilles Chagnon heads Arenas, Mike Duggan handles the Library project, with Maude Marquis-Bissonnette at the lead of the Heart of the Urban Village in du Plateau. Marquis-Bissonnette invited residents to try the new public market in the park at the heart of du Plateau, from June to October.
Public question period
The public’s opportunity to speak opened with a question about creating a Local Heritage Council in Old Aylmer, as exist in other cities. These advise Council on questions of protecting and promoting local heritage sites and events. Robert Agar (??) asked specifically for an update on the building project in Old Aylmer at 22 Principale, and about a heritage council; he was told there will be news on a local council by the fall.
Concerning renovations to parc des Cèdres, multiple questions focussed on the games and volleyball areas, requesting permanent metal equipment so the park can host regional or provincial tournaments. Mr Brisebois and Mr Pelletier asked the city to take beach volleyball “seriously”. Other residents urged a revision of the park layout and supported metal posts.
Public advertising in Aylmer’s core was questioned as “visual pollution”, with support by others who claimed the corner of Wilfrid-Lavigne and Principale is “particularly problematic”. One called the corner “ugly” and confusing, with all the commercial signs.
Several councillors urged citizens to use 3-1-1 for “whatever” complaint or problem with the city, and another major topic was the ban on dogs off-leash in Boucher Forest. A bylaw adopted later in the meeting regarding pets and walking them off-leash exempted Boucher Forest from the rule. Off-leash dog-walking in Boucher Forest will be addressed later this year.
The new domestic garbage rules were also questioned, especially as a means of reducing total city garbage. One resident wanted to know if this meant large families would have to pay extra for their waste pickup. Councillor Marquis-Bissonnette noted that there will be “certain modulations” to accommodate large families. Councillors assured the public that the garbage rules will be reviewed in June, and the question of dog walking in all city parks is still to be clarified in detail.
Other questions covered the future of both the Lucy-Faris Library (Aylmer’s municipal library) and the city’s Ombudsman Office, with no new information provided.
Following question period, council got down to the working agenda, which covered many issues, agreements, and decisions (all available on the city’s website).
The next monthly meeting will be June 12 at the Maison du citoyen in Hull sector. Each meeting opens with a public question period.
(Transl. LR, FR)