On August 23, the city council gathered for their first meeting back since the summer break. Starting off the meeting, City of Gatineau mayor, France Bélisle, highlights her priorities for the fall season.These priorities include defining the police and fire services offer, making decisions for cultural, sports, recreational and community infrastructures, as well as a summit to find solutions for the housing crisis.In terms of the environment the priorities this fall are to create a biodiversity charter as well as a pesticide policy. Implementing a compost program for industry, commerce and institutions is also a priority along with announcing a call for tender for gas recovery in the former cook landfill.
For transportation the priorities are to transition STO to multimodal and electronic as well as find solutions for better transit for the residents in the west of Gatineau.Many Gatineau residents used the public intervention period to question the council on a number of issues. The following provides an update on the topics discussed at the August 23 municipal council meeting.PesticidesDominique Henrie spoke to the council about the use of harmful pesticides that are used on the Gatineau territory and end up in rivers, fields and lawns. Henries works with the Regroupement des Cuisines Collective de Gatineau and coordinates the garden to table project.
She highlights the work of Gatineau Sans Pesticide, a group that has been working to ban pesticides in the region, as well as the harmful effects of these chemicals. She called on the councillors to listen to the science and prohibit the use of pesticides for the health of residents, the earth, water as well as the food we eat. Henrie asks the council to consider other options going forward. A representative from Gatineau Sans Pesticide also addressed the council on this subject.Bélisle responded by highlighting that the file will be a priority this fall. Belisle states that she believes that the city will reach their goals with this file soon.Homelessness CrisisFrancine Lorange took the mic to call on the council to take action on the homelessness issues in the City. Lorange highlights that her neighbourhood in the Hull-Wright district has many people experiencing homelessness and it is affecting the area. She said many residents have their cars broken into to find individuals sleeping in their car or on their property. She questions the council on the work the Shock committee is doing as the problem is severe and ongoing. She suggests that the committee should include those that are homeless so they can communicate their needs to the City.