Municipal Elections are taking place in October. As one of the main media outlets in the City of Cornwall, The Seeker is always eager to getting to know the candidates. As such, we send each candidate a questionnaire requesting for them to give their position on the most pressing issues near and dear to you, our readers. During the upcoming weeks, we will be publishing the answers from each candidate who choses to respond. Every candidate was sent 11 questions, penned by our own, Jason Setnyk. They can choose to answer as many as they want. We will post them online as they come in. Here are Claude Poirier’s Questions and Answers. Click on any question to reveal the answer.
1 – Please give us a brief biography / tell the readers about yourself.
I am a lifelong resident of Cornwall married to Anne-Marie Fobert father of Marie-Claude and Marc-André. I have been a community volunteer since an early age and did serve 5 terms on previous municipal councils. I am presently volunteering my services to help operate the Cornwall Columbus Club.
2 – If you were on Council the previous term, tell us about your accomplishments during the past four years. If you were not on City Council this last term, please tell us why you are running and what you hope to accomplish.
I believe that my past experience on previous Councils, my work ethic, my determination to properly debate the issues have prepared me well for the task at hand. Has a municipal councillor you have a responsibility to represent the interests of all its residents. I offer my services believing in all sincerity that I can and will make a difference in the deliberations of Council.
3 – With rents skyrocketing, what can City Council in Cornwall do to prevent renovictions like those at Cumberland Gardens that have impacted many in our community?
We need to properly maintain existing social housing units and seek additional funding for additional units. We need to explore what legislative tools we need to discourage large property owners often from out of town to exploit a hot housing crisis to the detriment of local residents. We need to support housing programs that assist residents maintain their residents. We need to enforce property standards bylaws.
4 – In 2018, the City of Cornwall purchased the old Bank of Montreal building in our downtown for $450,000 as the future home of Cornwall’s Art Centre. In 2019, Council heard a report that renovations would cost an additional $4 to $6 million dollars. In addition to the fundraising already being done, will you support some public tax dollars going towards a Cornwall Art Centre, or should the municipality pause any additional financial support?
This project is well underway we need to continue to encourage local fundraising and seek to maximize contribution from senior levels of government. To maximize these dollars we will need to contribute municipal dollars as we did for the Aquatic and Benson Centres.
5 – Post-pandemic, what can Council do to improve Economic Development for the city and support existing businesses?
Council needs to be attentive to the needs of local businesses. City department’s must be responsive in a timely manner to permit applications. In all our actions we need to properly assess the impact of our actions on the business community. We need to assist and explore all programmes that can be of assistance from senior levels of government.
6 – What are your thoughts on the McConnell Medical Clinic closure? Although health care is a provincial issue, is there anything Council can do to attract more doctors and nurses to our city?
We need to pressure the Provincial Government to properly fund the local health community. Council must be an advocate for local health concerns.
7 – While climate change is a global issue, what can the City do locally to keep our neighborhoods cool and protect natural resources like the St. Lawrence River?
Municipale Council needs to encourage the planting of trees and the maintenance of our parks and forested areas. We need to maintain and preserve our bike path and pedestrians walkways.
8 – Many City businesses are open on Sundays, and many events happen on Sundays. Do you support Sunday service for Cornwall Transit?
It’s a good question but it needs proper examination to see if it is possible and needed.
What are the cost, can we staff the additional service, how many users, what hrs of operation.
9 – What can we do to improve social services in Cornwall? Examples include but are not limited to Cornwall Transit, childcare spaces, or LTR spaces.
Many of these programs are funded by both senior levels of government. We need to work with local partners to maximize all available funding sources that can enhance and better these services. We encourage all of our municipal staff to continue to deliver these services in a professional and caring way.
10 – Do you support keeping tax increases to a bare minimum? If yes, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services? If you do not support keeping tax increases to a minimum, explain your reasoning why.
I will not commit to increase or lower municipal taxes until the full financial picture is presented to the incoming Council. Council has a responsibility to ensure that all its services are delivered in a efficient and professional manner. What are our financial commitments going forward what is the projected assessment growth or loss? The issue of installing water meters in every home needs in my opinion further review. Hundreds of new homes have been built without them when we could have mandated them as part of the permit process. What is the true cost and benefit we do not have a water source problem with the Saint Lawrence river on our banks. Are there not more important infrastructure priorities for the municipality.
11 – How can candidates contact you? Please provide a phone number and/or email and/or one website (or one social media link).
I can be contacted on my cell at 613 330 6642
Or by email [email protected]