Citizens to elect Pontiac’s next warden

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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – Voters will have an extra box to tick in the upcoming municipal elections in November after the mayors of the MRC Pontiac voted in favour of electing future wardens during an Administrative Committee meeting, March 7 at the MRC Pontiac office.

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – Voters will have an extra box to tick in the upcoming municipal elections in November after the mayors of the MRC Pontiac voted in favour of electing future wardens during an Administrative Committee meeting, March 7 at the MRC Pontiac office.
However, the decision comes with significant costs. In addition to an estimated $80,000 more in election expenses every four years, the warden’s salary will also increase by about $35,000 annually. The warden currently earns $34,800.
Thirteen of the 18 mayors, representing about 75% of the population, voted in favour of an elected warden. The MRC Pontiac will become the 16th MRC in Québec and the second in the Outaouais region to elect its warden by universal suffrage; MRC Vallee-de-la-Gatineau was the first.
The elected warden willchoose the pro-warden and the Council of Mayors will decide how they will be compensated. 
Warden Raymond Durocher, who, for a long time has stressed “status quo is no longer an option for the Pontiac,” welcomed the decision, which he describes as forward-thinking and a good investment.
The issue has been on the table for many years. Durocher stressed an elected warden can dedicate 100% of their time to the position rather than the current situation where a warden also has the duty to serve as mayor in their community.
“The elected warden will represent the entire Pontiac territory in every forum within and outside the county. They will act as a development officer, mobilizing internal resources to advance priority projects,” said the MRC Pontiac in a press release.
According to an in-house study conducted by the MRC Pontiac in 2016, electing a warden has proven beneficial for other areas. The majority indicated they would not return to their previous system if given the chance and reported experiencing greater resource efficiency and financial returns.