Luce Farrell to seek provincial Liberal nomination for the riding of Gatineau

I was pleased to read in The Low Down Newspaper that Luce Farrell will be seeking the provincial Liberal nomination for Gatineau. Luce is an attachée politique to Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée, who has recently announced she will not be running in the upcoming provincial election.
Via Facebook
l have encountered Luce several times in a professional capacity over the years and she has always been a pleasure to deal with. Her efforts have always reflected positively on the office she serves, and she is a true bastion of knowledge when it comes to the affairs of the Gatineau region – which by all accounts she has served very well for over a decade.

She is well-positioned to use her knowledge and experience to serve the region in an even greater capacity should she be confirmed as the provincial Liberal candidate for Gatineau.

With a Quebec election approaching, I would encourage everybody to follow and support Luce’s candidacy. Gatineau would be lucky to have her as a representative in Quebec City.

Follow Luce on Facebook here:




The Marquis-Bissonnette Tax on Gatineau families


Councilors of the city of Gatineau have voted in favor of a new tax on families – an extra 5 dollar fee for every garbage bag that exceed the modest city-imposed pick-up limit. As of right now there appears to be no distinction in how the tax is applied to households with 1x person, or households with 2x,3x,4x, or 5+ people.

Action Gatineau party member Maude Marquis-Bissonnette is the councilor leading the charge on this new taxation policy:


Maude Marquis-Bissonnette
District du Plateau
Courriel :
Téléphone : 819 595-7110

Garbage is only picked up every two weeks in Gatineau. I’m part of a family of four, which includes a baby that wears diapers. Myself, and many other families usually fill our garbage bins before the end of the two week pick-up period. It should be noted that along with the new tax, Gatineau councilors have decided to reduce the size of the garbage bins we are allowed to use to 120 litres.


Family celebrations involving people from outside our family – birthday parties, Christmas dinner with presents, family milestones – these events produce waste and sometimes already need an extra garbage bag to accommodate things.


The city of Gatineau has now deemed that these special occasions should be subject to taxation. Fun events that make life enjoyable are now going to cost more because in some cases these events will produce enough waste to place many families over the new two-week garbage limit.

Maude Marquis-Bissonnette is my councilor. Families in my area of Gatineau, the Plateau sector, consistently put out their blue recycle bins, full to bursting. It is insulting to suggest that Gatineau families are not doing enough recycling or composting to reduce waste.

Instead of concocting schemes to take money away from families, councilors like Marquis-Bissonnette should reduce waste by making recycling easier in public areas. Placing additional recycling bins in parks and in other common areas, and seeing the impact of this, is much better than attacking Gatineau families.

Marquis-Bissonnette’s tax on families is nothing more than a cash grab aimed at hard working Gatineau families, and all councilors who voted for it should be ashamed of themselves.

A petition has been started by the Facebook group Développons Gatineau to stop this tax, sign it today!

Le Conseil Municipal de la Ville de Gatineau: Non à la #taxepoubelle à Gatineau! | No #garbagetax in Gatineau! Sign here !!



CISSSO protest

Bravo to the support staff of our medical facilities in Quebec for recently & publicly voicing their concerns with CISSSO’s administration.

Recently many health care support employees displayed, for the media and general public, placards describing their grievances with a health system that seems to be asking too much of its workers while provided too little to its patients.

By protesting chronic understaffing and poor working conditions in our health care facilities, our support staff workers have drawn the public’s attention once again to the many inadequacies that permeate the Quebec health care system.

We are at an opportune timeframe to advance the cause of health care service delivery, with a provincial election set for October 1st of this year. I hope to see all parties in Quebec investing considerable amounts of their own resources to examine health policy and service delivery.

Pontiac’s 2019 federal election campaign will feature a new CPC candidate

(English is below)

Chers ami(e)s,

Merci à tous ceux qui m’ont contacté pour s’informer de mes intentions en vue de la prochaine élection fédérale.

Après avoir discuté avec ma famille, j’aimerais annoncer que je n’ai pas l’intention de briguer l’investiture conservatrice fédérale en vue des élections de  me présenterai 2019.

J’ai deux très jeunes filles avec qui je veux passer plus de temps. Je veux aussi terminer ma maîtrise, poursuivre ma carrière et poursuivre certains objectifs que je me suis fixés en tant que membre de l’Armée canadienne. De plus, je souhaite continuer de m’impliquer dans les dossiers de soins de santé auquel je participe avec mes amis de Pontiac Voice. Toutes ces activités contribueront grandement à solidifier ma candidature et aussi à acquérir plus d’expériences afin de me présenter de nouveau comme candidat conservateur dans le futur.

Je tenais de rendre publique mes intentions quisque je veux donner amplement l’occasion à ceux qui sont intéressés de briguer l’investiture conservatrice fédérale dans la circonscription de   Pontiac. Je veux aussi encourager mes ami(e)s qui hésitaient peut-être à briguer l’investiture par loyauté envers moi. Je les encouragent à aller de l’avant s’ils sont intéressés.

Les commentaires que j’ai reçus de nos résidents sur l’état de la politique fédérale indiquent clairement que le Pontiac se lasse des dépenses imprudentes, des hausses de taxes et des manquements à l’éthique qui caractérisent le gouvernement Trudeau. Le silence que nous recevons de notre représentant fédéral local asur certains dossiers est assourdissant – notamment sur l’état des soins de santé, le manque de protection du parc de la Gatineau, les attaques dirigées contre les petites entreprises et les fermiers et sur la décharge de déchets nucléaires qui doit être construite tout près de nous.

Je continuerai de défendre ces dossiers et d’autres enjeux fédéraux et j’entends jouer un rôle clé dans la prochaine campagne du Pontiac. Je tiens à remercier ma famille, mes parents et le comité exécutif conservateur du Pontiac pour leur soutien  constant.

Avec d’amour,

Benjamin Woodman

Ancien candidat pour le PCC


Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone that has contacted me inquiring of my status as a candidate in the next federal election.

After discussing with my family, I want to announce that I won’t be running for federal office in 2019.

I have a family that I want to spend more time with. I also want to complete my Masters degree, continue my career, and work towards some of the goals I have set for myself as a soldier in the Canadian Army. Additionally, I wish to increase the health-care advocacy I partake in with my friends in Pontiac Voice. All of these activities will go a long way towards my own self-improvement, and will make me more capable to run again as a Conservative candidate at some point in the future.

I’m announcing my intentions at this early stage because I want to give ample opportunity to those interested in seeking the Pontiac Conservative nomination to present themselves before 2019’s election. I also want to encourage friends who may have been hesitant to seek the Conservative nomination out of loyalty to me, to step forward if they are interested.

The feedback I’ve received from our residents on the state of federal politics is a strong indicator that the Pontiac has grown weary of the reckless spending, increased taxes and ethical lapses that characterize the Trudeau government. The silence we receive from our local federal representative is deafening on a number of files – including on the state of health care, the lack of protection surrounding Gatineau Park, on attacks directed towards small businesses & farmers, the lying that surrounded electoral reform, and on the nuclear waste dump that is set to be built upriver from us.

I will continue to advocate on these, and other federal issues, and I intend to play a key role in the upcoming campaign. I want to thank my family, my parents and our Pontiac Conservative Executive for their constant support.

Much love,


Benjamin Woodman

CPC Candidate of Record, Pontiac

Santé Outaouais 2020 report on Health Care

cover photo

Click here for the English report

Santé Outaouais 2020 recently unveiled a new report on the state of health care in the Pontiac. The report, authored by Gilbert Langelier, Paul-Émile Leblanc and Michel Légère is available online, and paints a grim picture as to the decline in quality of health services in our region.

For months my wonderful colleagues and I at Pontiac Voice (an organization dedicated to speaking out against hospital parking fees and other health-care related atrocities) have been advocating on a number of health care related issues. Along with a number of residents and municipal officials, we have been speaking out concerning the decline in quality of health services in our area. The report from Santé Outaouais 2020 confirms what we have been stating for months – “It is argued that too many services have moved to the city.…. proximity services have been greatly diminished. In summary, the staff is worried, frustrated and exhausted. The Pontiac region has suffered a great loss of autonomy.”

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette was dismissive of this report, downplaying its impact and the work of its authors. It was extremely disappointing to see the Minister react this way. This report (while frank and critical as to the decline of our local health care after government-mandated reforms) is an opportunity for the Minister to respond positively to the needs of rural populations. Opportunity knocked, but the Minister was clearly too busy to answer the door.

I’ve required two surgeries in the past two years due to athletic injuries. Recently my spouse and I brought our second child into the world. Each instance in the hospital was marked by compassionate care from hard-working individuals that were clearly exhausted in some instances. We owe a debt of gratitude to Quebec health care workers that I fear I will never be able to repay. The consolidated changes to our health care system have not only hurt patients, but health care workers as well. This is unacceptable.

To you, dear readers, I ask for your help. Speak about Quebec health care with your families and friends. Write to your local newspapers, and write to your local elected officials at every level of government about your health care experiences in Quebec.

The more that health care issues are debated publicly, the more attention they will receive from elected officials. This can only mean better things for patient care for the people we care about.



Santé Outaouais 2020 a récemment dévoilé un nouveau rapport sur l’état des soins de santé dans le Pontiac. Le rapport, rédigé par Gilbert Langelier, Paul-Émile Leblanc et Michel Légère, est disponible en ligne et dresse un sombre tableau de la détérioration de la qualité des services de santé dans notre région.

Pendant des mois, mes collègues et moi du comité D’action de ce groupe « Voix du Pontiac »  (un organisme voué à dénoncer les frais de stationnement dans les hôpitaux et autres atrocités liées aux soins de santé), avons  défendu un certain nombre de questions liées aux soins de santé. Avec un certain nombre de résidents et de fonctionnaires municipaux, nous avons parlé du déclin de la qualité des services de santé dans notre région. Le rapport de Santé Outaouais 2020 confirme ce que nous affirmions depuis des mois: «On remarque qu’en transférant trop de services  en ville …. les  services de proximité ont été grandement diminués. En résumé, le personnel est inquiet, frustré et épuisé. La région du Pontiac a subi une grande perte d’autonomie. ”

Le ministre de la Santé du Québec, Gaétan Barrette, a rejeté ce rapport en minimisant son impact et le travail de ses auteurs. C’était extrêmement décevant de voir le ministre réagir de cette façon. Ce rapport (bien que franc et critique quant au déclin de nos soins de santé locaux après les réformes mandatées par le gouvernement) est une occasion pour le ministre de répondre positivement aux besoins des populations rurales.

J’ai eu besoin de deux chirurgies au cours des deux dernières années en raison de blessures sportives. Récemment mon épouse et moi avons apporté notre deuxième enfant au monde. Chaque cas à l’hôpital a été marqué par des soins prodigués avec compassion par des personnes qui travaillaient dur et qui étaient manifestement épuisées dans certains cas. Nous avons une dette de gratitude envers les travailleurs de la santé du Québec que je crains de ne jamais pouvoir rembourser. Les changements consolidés à notre système de soins de santé ont non seulement fait du tort aux patients, mais aussi aux travailleurs de la santé. C’est  inacceptable.

À vous, chers lecteurs, je vous demande votre aide. Parlez des soins de santé au Québec avec votre famille et vos amis. Écrivez à vos journaux locaux et écrivez à vos élus locaux à tous les paliers de gouvernement au sujet de vos expériences de soins de santé au Québec.

Plus les questions de santé sont débattues publiquement, plus elles recevront d’attention des élus. Cela ne peut que signifier de meilleures choses pour les soins aux patients pour les personnes qui nous sont chères.




Bonjour-Hi readers,

The continually irrelevant Parti Quebecois recently introduced a non-binding motion in the National Assembly calling for business owners to greet customers with  “bonjour” instead of “bonjour-hi”; “bonjour-hi” being frequently used by shopkeeps in certain areas of Quebec, particularly in Montreal. Unbelievably, the motion passed and was unanimously supported by all parties in the National Assembly.

Yes, with the many issues we face as a province, this is where our politicians are turning their attention to.  French is a wonderful language, and measures to protect it such as accessible language training should be in place across the province. Harassing business owners with the travesty that is Bill 101, or passing ridiculous motions encouraging business owners to speak a certain way are terrible ways to go about enshrining the French language in our culture.

Taxpaying business owners should greet whomever in whichever way they prefer. It is absolutely ridiculous to police private enterprises, through a non-binding legislative motion, in an effort to make them speak a certain way. What an international embarrassment!

There are so many problems in the world, and every second the National Assembly devotes to this is time not spent on real issues such as the economy and health care. I hope this is the last we hear of this nonsense.

Au revoir – goodbye!

Quebec elections have concluded!

Sunday was truly a fine exercise of democracy in Quebec. Municipal elections have concluded, and our region featured a number of close races for many elected positions.

Election campaigns always create debate, and sometimes the resulting discourse can venture into less congenial territory. With the election concluded, it is time now to come together as municipalities, and as neighbors.

To everyone who had the guts to put your name on a ballot – you are deserving of our respect, and our gratitude. Every single candidate, victorious or not, should be holding their head up high today. I think that despite differences in policy and in opinion, it is very easy to speak to the high-level of commitment shown by all candidates throughout a long and sometimes difficult campaign.

The future is bright for us in Quebec, and it is an exciting time to begin a mandate as part of a municipal government.

Congratulations to all who have helped build our region into what it is today, and to all who will shape what our region will become tomorrow.

Thank you to The Equity

I was pleased to attend last’s week Warden debate at Pontiac High School (PHS), as hosted by The Equity.

It was standing room only in the PHS auditorium– a great indicator that there is a tremendous amount of interest in our upcoming municipal elections. It was also a great relief to be in that auditorium and not give a speech, as many years ago (as a PHS student) it was an annual requirement for me.


I wish to offer my congratulations to all candidates who participated.

I believe we also owe The Equity our thanks for organizing and moderating this event.

As we’re all aware, the media landscape is quickly evolving through expansion of the internet and through increased uptake of digital news content. I feel it is essential now more than ever before for us to recognize and support our local media outlets, including local radio (ChipFm recently contributed to the democratic process as well, by covering a separate Warden debate earlier in the week).

Rural areas, unlike our urban cousins, don’t always have the proper web infrastructure to ensure that residents have consistent access to digital news on the internet. This is problematic across Canada, and rural media outlets typically punch above their weight in terms of outreach, at great financial cost.

It’s likely we will never see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other online media platforms organize a local debate in the Pontiac, and thus we can’t take it for granted when our local media outlets put forth extra effort to ensure we are informed about what affects us.

#PontiacQc municipal elections: coming soon to a town near you



(English follows the French below)

Les élections générales municipales au Québec approchent rapidement et c’est un sujet excitant chez les Woodman.

Pour moi, la politique municipale est une forme d’art. En grande partie dépourvu de partisanerie qui caractérise les campagnes provinciales et fédérales, les campagnes municipales permettent de discuter d’enjeux locaux, dans un environnement où le candidat lui-même est plus important que son parti politique.

De plus, les élus municipaux ont un impact direct et rapide sur le destin de leur communauté; ils peuvent faire avancer des dossiers qui auront des effets immédiats et visibles au sein de la communauté.

Je suis très heureux de voir que The Equity a pris l’initiative d’organiser un débat parmi les candidats au poste de préfet de la MRC de Pontiac. Je suis également heureux que ce débat aura lieu dans l’une de nos communautés locales.

Je suis complètement en accord avec un éditorial apparu récemment dans The Equity, il faut encourager les gens à suivre attentivement le déroulement des élections municipales et de s’impliquer. Les jeunes, en particulier, devraient considérer s’impliquer ou de présenter leur candidature.

La diversité des points de vue est une richesse et chaque candidat (e) a quelque chose à offrir au processus démocratique. Je tiens à féliciter tous les candidats (e) impliqués dans cette campagne électorale.

À l’heure actuelle, le plus grand obstacle à la politique est l’inconnu – où commencez? Comment s’inscrire? Quelles étapes sont nécessaires?

Faites quelques recherches et demandez autour de vous. Vous trouverez plusieurs réponses auprès de votre municipalité et du gouvernement du Québec.


Quebec municipal elections are quickly approaching, making for an early Christmas-like atmosphere of excitement in the Woodman household.

To me, municipal politics are truly the most satisfying form of the fine art of the possible. Largely devoid of the partisanship that characterizes provincial and federal campaigns, municipal races allow the public debate and discussion of local issues, in an environment where the candidate themselves is more important than their party affiliation.

At this level of government, elected officials are best positioned to enact rapid, apparent visible change to their communities; while federal and provincial officials by comparison take on important decisions that may not have the same immediate, visible impact locally.

I am extremely pleased to see that The Equity has taken the initiative to organize a debate amongst the candidates for the position of MRC Pontiac Warden. I am also pleased that the venue is within one of our local communities, as opposed to another outside jurisdiction.

I wish to echo the sentiments expressed in a recent Equity editorial encouraging people to get involved in our municipal elections– by being a candidate, or by supporting another’s candidacy. Young people in particular should give strong consideration to getting involved as candidates.

Every candidate has something to offer to the democratic process, even if their views conflict with your own. As such, I congratulate all candidates for Warden, Mayor or Councillor on their decision enter the race to serve our communities.

Right now, the biggest barrier to enter politics is the unknown – where do I start? How do I get registered? What steps are needed?

Obtaining this information may appear daunting at first, but do some research. Ask around. Contact your municipality or Elections Quebec for more info. You might be surprised as to how easy it can be.

There is no reason why anybody should think that political representation is out of their reach. Best of luck to all candidates as we approach November.




The CISSSO saga marches onward

I read with great interest last week’s editorial feature in The Equity, concerning the state of health care in this region and the province of Quebec as a whole.

I am not opposed to centralization, with the caveat that I think centralized service coordination of health care should still be tailored to meet the needs of the population it serves. I think it is obvious that CISSSO requires some work in this regard. The pay-for-parking scheme is one of the most visible aspects of what transpires when local voices are cut out of the conversation.

Blanket solutions for healthcare issues, that treat every region and facility the same, are not feasible for needs that vary greatly from region to region. Our hospital and patient needs are different here than in other regions of the province, as they would be for facilities and needs of any region.

Pontiac has an excellent network of health care facilities, with caring and compassionate workers.

Quebec should strive to bring other regions and facilities up to the standard of care offered here in the Pontiac. Yet we are seemingly faced with organizational efforts that are bringing the Pontiac DOWN to the levels of other less-successful areas of Quebec when it comes to health care.

I am pleased that health care continues to remain an important topic for all of the people of our region. I am further encouraged by my colleagues that make up Pontiac Voice, who so diligently and respectfully advocate on this issue.

Greater input from “boots on the ground” healthcare workers will be one of the catalysts to improving our health care system across the province going forward.

One measure that we, the residents, must undertake is to remain involved in the conversation and to not allow this issue to fall by the wayside. I am optimistic that this conversation will continue, and that our voice will grow ever louder.