Local electoral campaigns in small communities

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Des local election campaigns in small communities

In some communities, there are many electoral signs, while in other municipalities, candidates rely above all on their notoriety.

Familiarity between candidates and citizens is often at the heart of election results in the small communities of the Highway 11 Corridor in Northern Ontario.

In many cases, candidates do more or less campaign according to their notoriety.

Until a few days ago, there were no posters of candidates for the municipal elections in the small municipality of Opasatika, west of Kapuskasing.

The community of a few hundred residents, however, has seven candidates running for four municipal council positions. Mayor Jacques Dorval was elected by acclamation.

According to one of the candidates for re-election, Hélène Jean, this discreet campaign is explained by the fact that the residents know the candidates.< /p>

“We don't go door-to-door here, because everyone knows each other.

— Hélène Jean, candidate for city councilor in Opasatika

Ms. #x27;community events.

She points out that the candidates all know each other and that there are often family or friendly ties between them.

It's a small community, so it's all families that are close together. We all have family ties. That's why there is no competition. We let democracy go, she says.

Besides, Ms. Jean is related to Gaston Tremblay, a candidate who was visiting her at the time of our visit.

Gaston Tremblay and Hélène Jean are candidates for the municipal elections in Opasatika.

M. Tremblay is running for the city council for the first time. He retired from the municipality last winter, after a long career in the field of public works.

I hope to be able to give them a little more help presenting me as an advisor, he confides.

I'm going to have pamphlets, but posters, I don't think. The world knows me, adds Gaston Tremblay.

The clerk of the municipality, Alain Tremblay, is delighted with the number of candidates in the elections.

It's a community that people care about and they want to participate, says the one who is himself a councilor in the neighboring municipality of Val Rita-Harty, where he lives and is trying to obtain a sixth mandate.

Alain Tremblay is a candidate for the position of municipal councilor in Val Rita-Harty.

Mr. Tremblay considers his experience as a clerk to be beneficial.

Having both sides of the coin, as a councilor and as an employee and employer, has helped, he says, pointing out that the issues of small communities are similar.

He intends to go door to door as part of his campaign, pointing out that there has not been an election for councilor positions in eight years and that new residents have settled in the small municipality.

Unlike Opasatika, there are several candidate posters in other municipalities in the region, such as Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Kapuskasing and Hearst.

There are seven candidates for four council positions in Moonbeam, in addition to two candidates for the post of mayor.

Michel Harvey is seeking a second term. He is from Moonbeam and ran a business there for about 20 years.

I think the world knows me a little. I know a lot of people in our community, so I'm able to talk to them, he says.

For his part, the candidate Matthew Pronovost is a new citizen of Moonbeam, installed for a little over a year.

He says he is aware that the voters of the small municipality must get acquainted with him, which he managed to do by enlisting as a volunteer firefighter and as the new director of the board of directors of the co-op grocery store.

Matthew Pronovost is a teacher at Cité des jeunes high school in Kapuskasing. He's running for alderman in Moonbeam.

That part is really important: building good relationships with your neighbors and making yourself known, says Pronovost.

As part of his campaign, he wants to meet with representatives of organizations and go door-to-door.

In Kapuskasing, 11 candidates are vying for six councilor positions.

Guylaine Scherer, incumbent candidate, says she is continuing with the approach she says got her elected the first time four years ago.

I continue to be present, I continue to listen to people, to discuss with them, she says.

Guylaine Scherer is seeking re-election to Kapuskasing City Council.

She does not go door-to-door, but she makes herself very visible and accessible in the community at gatherings.

Businessman Gary Fortin presents himself for the first time. He had been offered to do it.

Owner of Spacek's, an electronics and furniture business at Le Cercle in Kapuskasing, he says it is easily accessible.

Gary Fortin leads his first election campaign.

I have always been in my community, in the public. Many people know me. And those who don't know me know that it doesn't take long to find out where Gary Fortin is. My door is open, he says about his campaign.

It's a bit the same philosophy for businessman Martin Lanoix, from Hearst, who completes a year on city council after being appointed to replace a councilor who left office.

Mr. Lanoix points out that his work in the field of plumbing and heating allows him to meet a lot of people.

Martin Lanoix is ​​a candidate for the position of municipal councilor in Hearst.

Door-to-door, I don't think to do it. My job takes me door-to-door, he says.

Candidate Mélanie Breton is campaigning more actively in Kapuskasing .

She says she participates in various community activities and has started door-to-door to make herself known to residents and hear them.

Mélanie Breton is actively campaigning in Kapuskasing.

Being one of the youngest, I want to try to make a campaign maybe a little more dynamic in order to make sure that I really reach out to people, she says.

Even if they know candidates, voters in these small communities say they would like to know more about what they are proposing in order to guide their choice.

“I'll do some polls around and try to meet them one by one to see what they have to say and what they have to offer. »

— Marie Godin, resident of Moonbeam

I will go to those who in my opinion have the most integrity, she adds.

There are several election signs on certain arteries.

A resident of Kapuskasing, Denis Nadeau, wishes have a forum for candidates to express themselves on certain issues.

Otherwise, he believes that the election will become a popularity contest.

< p class="e-p">It comes down to who has the biggest family and friend network. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to choose in the world, says Mr. Nadeau.

The municipal election campaign continues until October 24, election day.

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