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Former municipal councilor Audrey Bureau is eyeing Gatineau town hall

Photo: LinkedIn Former municipal councilor for the Aylmer district, Audrey Bureau

Former municipal councilor Audrey Bureau is seriously considering running for mayor of Gatineau, and is considering founding her own party with a view to the next elections, in 2025. She affirms that in the short term, the recovery of its approach to obtain more services in English is not one of its priorities.

Still “in reflection”, she is giving herself “one week” to make her decision. The one who identifies with the new generation of municipal elected officials says she is motivated by her desire to develop a “resilient territory”. “Gatineau is the fourth largest city in Quebec. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, like all municipalities, and I want to contribute to that,” she adds, in an interview with Devoir.

In 2018, while she was a municipal councilor for the Aylmer district, Audrey Bureau supported English-speaking groups in the Outaouais who denounced the lack of services in English in the region. She declared in an interview with CBC that “there is a lot of frustration among certain Anglophones who wonder why they receive so many services in French and the impact of that on their ability to participate in democratic life. »

Remember that in 2011, when his father, Marc Bureau, was mayor, an agreement was signed between the City of Gatineau and its white-collar workers to grant a bilingualism bonus of 45 cents to employees who use English in the exercise of their functions. This bilingualism bonus was ultimately rejected by the municipal council.

Questioned on this subject, Ms. Bureau says that her “priorities” today are “the infrastructure deficit”, mobility, housing, as well as the fight and adaptation to climate change. But could a greater place given to English be part of the line of her future party ? The potential candidate says that she will work with a “view” of “respect” for Law 96.

Also read

  • Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle resigns
  • Gatineau will elect its new mayor on June 9

Found your own party

If she is elected, Ms. Bureau says she will not disrupt the work already started by the municipal council. “It wouldn’t be realistic, it wouldn’t be respectful,” she believes. She would rather like to “pursue” certain “big issues that are underway” including that of the tramway, police headquarters, and sports infrastructures. “I’m going to want to speed up certain things, that’s for sure […], but we won’t be part of the revolution.”

On the other hand, she believes that as the next elections approach, scheduled for November 2025, “it will be time to really put forward a program”. Ms. Bureau says she wants to “create a second political party in Gatineau,” a “necessity” according to her.

She indicates that the creation of Action Gatineau, a “party which is in opposition”, has generated a “major change in dynamics around the (municipal) council table. Before, we only had independents who debated, then who were really the source of consensus. Now, we are really in a dynamic where there is a party that has a program.”

Concerning the “hostile” climate described by former mayor France Bélisle during her resignation, Ms. Bureau agrees with the importance of holding a “social dialogue to ensure that we have a democracy which is healthy.” “I want to improve (the climate), but I also know what I’m getting into. When I was a municipal councilor, I experienced this adversity. »

“Is there adversity in municipal politics ? Of course there is. Are there any citizens who exceed the limits on social networks ? Of course yes. Are elected officials easy targets ? Of course they are. […] I am committed to being an ambassador of a dialogue that is respectful, of a debate that is healthy in the public square. »

This report is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116