Reeve Candidates Step Up in La Broquerie
By Marianne Curtis
Over the past few months, the RM of La Broquerie council has been embroiled in controversy. Various allegations and numerous investigations have left voters disillusioned in the ability of the current council, so it is no surprise that some candidates are already stepping forward to make a bid for the reeve’s chair.
Claude Lussier, who works in the community’s only financial institution, was the first to announce that he was running for reeve. He is the brother-in-law of former administrator Larry Tetrault and said that while he has not lived in La Broquerie for very long, he is well aware of the issues he would face if elected as reeve.
“The RM of La Broquerie has lost its shine and its sense of welcome – it’s scaring off developers and people that want to live here,” stated Lussier. “We will have to bring in corrective measures so that we can move forward.”
He added that “the past is the past” and the newly elected council will have to focus on moving forward instead of looking back.
Jean Gagnon, a 24-year veteran councilor who is also the current deputy reeve, has officially announced that he intends to seek election as reeve.
“I want a real open government for the RM of La Broquerie, I want to treat everyone fairly, not just a few. I want to clear this up and get the RM going back into the progressive municipality that we were before, a building community, not one that is defeating itself.”
As a member of the current municipal council that has been plagued with investigations both from the government and the police, Gagnon said that campaigning will be a challenge.
“Campaigning is always a challenge, but I know what is going on and I am not going to be running on hearsay,” Gagnon said. “I am in the middle of it but I’ve been fighting for the ratepayers even though I’ve been a lone voice.”
Ken Mantie is the first candidate to announce that he is running for council but he is not running for reeve despite being encouraged to do so.
“If Jean is running for reeve I want to be on his council – I have a lot of respect for him,” stated Mantie. “Whoever gets elected in the new council will have four years of cleanup to do.”
If elected, Mantie is confident that a new council in La Broquerie will be able to clean up ongoing issues. He’d like to see the municipality working with builders and private residents to ensure that growth restarts in the area.
While the RM of La Broquerie office would not confirm that Marielle Wiebe was planning on seeking re-election, the current reeve has told other media that she will be seeking a second term at office.