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.

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

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(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.

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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.