Gatineau wraps up 2022 and look ahead to the upcoming year
The Bulletin sat down with the Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle to discuss the work the city has done this year and what residents can expect in 2023.
Q: What successes would Gatineau like to highlight this year?
“To highlight this year's successes, we can look at the Budget. There was an increase in the budget of 2.9%, which I believe is a reasonable amount in the context of inflation. We are one of the cities in Quebec that have the lowest tax increase,” said Bélisle. “In the budget, there are many successes, as we are making important investments.” The mayor highlighted that the city is investing in snow removal, in culture, and in asphalting, more than $50 million for the next year, which is more than we have ever invested.
The environment was also highlighted as a success. Bélisle mentioned the Urban Forestry Plan, and that the city wants to plant trees on its territory. We also invested in the Biodiversity Charter, as well as water management.
The former waste management site on Cook has been an issue in Aylmer for some years, as little has been done to address the greenhouse gas emissions from the site. “This is an important file; I would have liked to make an announcement about the site. Unfortunately, we are not ready. However, I want to reassure residents that the project has moved forward throughout this year. We are currently working with partners and cannot make an announcement yet, but we are hoping that in 2023 we will be able to make an official announcement,” said Mayor Bélisle.
Q: What important projects, initiatives or files will residents see move forward in the new year?
“Yes, specifically for Aylmer, we have invested $16 million to completely reorganize the Gatineau Police in this sector. There is also the multi-sports complex that will be on the agenda for 2023 and will respond to major infrastructure needs in the West of Gatineau in the future. It will take a few years to build but we will be moving forward with the project in 2023,” said Bélisle.
The mayor also highlighted that in the winter of 2023, there will be discussion about road traffic and transportation management in the West of the City. Specifically, concerning current issues such as Vanier Road and management of high traffic areas. Residents will also see the Lucy-Faris Library file move forward; Bélisle says they have voted for funds for the project as well.
The “Réseau Blanc”, a series of paths where the snow is cleared to allow residents to bike during the winter, will be expanded in Aylmer. That should be ready for this winter.
Q: What are the main objectives the city will focus on in the coming year?“The key files for 2023 are the construction of the “Cartier General de la Police”; housing is always a priority; we need to improve and develop the multi-sport complex in the West, and transportation all over the territory,” said Bélisle. “We will also get more details about the future hospital in the next year. The expropriation process will begin, and we will also start discussing how the city will adapt to the new hospital.”
Q: Do you have a message for residents or a call to action for citizens for the year 2023?
“Yes, we are going to do many initiatives with citizens because we have a new citizen interaction service. I invite citizens to participate in all the consultations that Gatineau will organize,” said Mayor Bélisle. “We are consulting citizens on citizen participation, on the biodiversity Charter, and we are currently consulting citizens on snow removal processes. I want to call on citizens to engage with the city consultation because the more engaged they are, the more decisions will reflect their thoughts and needs.”