There will be a race for mayor in the Rural Municipality of Tache. That is because, after eight years as councillor, Armand Poirier has decided to challenge incumbent Mayor Justin Bohemier.
"I think there's a lot of things in Tache that I would like to see accomplished," says Poirier, when asked why he is running for Mayor. "If elected as mayor I will be able to probably see some of these things come to fruition."
If elected, Poirier says one of his priorities will be to see safety improvements made at the Provincial Road 206 and Trans Canada Highway intersection.
"There is hundreds of vehicles that access that intersection every day to go west towards the city, to go to work," he explains. "There is no traffic controls there, it's extremely dangerous."
Poirier says he would also like to see a west access from Provincial Road 207 to Highway 59, in order to relieve a lot of traffic going through Lorette.
With regards to public and community safety, Poirier says he would like to see amendments to their fire code to include sprinklers or fire suppressant systems as standard equipment in all new builds of two storeys or more for commercial and multi-residential buildings. He is also hoping to convince council to acquire a ladder truck for their fire department. Poirier says this could be shared with neighbouring municipalities, noting Tache has several three storey buildings which would be difficult to service in an emergency.
Other priorities include revisiting the possibility of bringing seniors housing to Tache and negotiating with both the province and RCMP to have better police coverage in the municipality.
Another concern of Poirier's is what he perceives as a lack of preparedness of their Emergency Operations Centre team. Poirier says he does not think those on the team know what their responsibilities would be in a municipal-wide emergency.
Poirier says it is not that he is totally dissatisfied with the work of their current mayor. However, he feels he is at the right stage of life where he can devote 100 per cent of his time to be a fulltime mayor.
"I would like to offer the opportunity to residents to be able to have better opportunity to communicate with the head of council," he adds. "One of the things I did learn is that the public has a lot of input, a lot of good suggestions, good ideas, but the only way you'll find out about them is if they have an opportunity to share them with you."
In fact, if elected, Poirier says in his first week as Mayor he will create a venue for the public to come meet him and share their thoughts and concerns.
Though his campaign is not yet in full gear, Poirier says ratepayers are endorsing him and have encouraged him to run.