Maude Marquis-Bissonnette elected mayor of Gatineau, Quebec

By The Canadian Press

The candidate of the Action Gatineau party, Maude Marquis-Bissonnette, won the elections for mayor of Gatineau on Sunday. She therefore becomes the second woman to occupy the position of mayor of this town in Outaouais, after France Bélisle, who resigned in February.

According to preliminary results, Marquis-Bissonnette received 41.70 per cent of the votes, which allowed her to beat former mayor Yves Ducharme, who obtained the favor of 30.87 per cent of voters. Ducharme was attempting a return to politics, having been mayor of Hull from 1992 to 2001, then of Gatineau from 2001 to 2005.

Marquis-Bissonnette was on her second attempt to be elected mayor of Gatineau. In the 2021 elections, she obtained 38 per cent of the votes, but she was beaten by Bélisle, at 43 per cent.

The former municipal councilor left her position as head of Action Gatineau following her defeat, then became an assistant professor in municipal management at the National School of Public Administration, on the Gatineau campus. She took over the leadership this spring in anticipation of Sunday’s by-election.

Among Marquis-Bissonnette’s priorities are housing, downtown revitalization and the climate emergency.

“I have a solid plan and I am ready to take action,” she assured in a video published on social networks on the eve of the election.

“We need a major mayor. We need a strong woman who is capable of leading the files in the City, but also of leading them in Quebec and Ottawa, so that in Gatineau, we have our share of investments in health and housing, in matters of transport,” she put forward.

On the Action Gatineau website, Marquis-Bissonnette committed to “negotiating a QST credit on rental housing with Quebec, supported by the (Association of Construction and Housing Professionals of Quebec), in order to increase the number of units and help resolve the housing shortage” in the first 200 days at town hall.

On the social network X, Quebec Premier François Legault and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante both congratulated Marquis-Bissonnette on her victory on Sunday evening.

In addition to regaining the town hall, the Action Gatineau party won the by-election in the Carrefour-de-l’Hôpital district, where its candidate Catherine Craig-Saint-Louis was elected councilor.

Action Gatineau was created in 2012. One of its founders is Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, who was mayor of Gatineau from 2013 to 2021.

The first female mayor of Gatineau, France Bélisle announced her resignation last February, in particular because of the climate of intimidation with which many municipal elected officials are grappling.

–This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews

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