Our personalities of the year 2021: Catherine Fournier, mayor of Longueuil

Catherine Fournier symbolized the wind of renewal that swept through the municipal sector in 2021. Brought to power on November 7 at Longueuil town hall, the 29-year-old former MP won with her team 14 of the 16 seats on the municipal council , and several elected representatives come from diversity.

Catherine Fournier has not had time to breathe since her election. From 6:30 a.m. the day after her victory, she spoke with the City Manager to discuss a subject that could not wait: the construction of the extension of Boulevard Béliveau, which endangered the habitat of the tree frog. chorus cricket. In the following hours, Longueuil was to appear in Superior Court to debate the injunction request obtained by environmental groups. “The position of Ville de Longueuil was to challenge this injunction. What I asked the general manager is not to challenge. That was my orientation, ”explains Catherine Fournier, who was keen to keep her electoral promise to protect natural environments and the chorus frog.

Very quickly, the new administration chained decisions in various cases, eager to quickly establish its directions. During the first meeting of the municipal council, on November 23, the files tumbled: the elected officials endorsed the salary reduction of $ 65,000 for the mayor, and the administration laid the foundations for several projects, such as the creation of ” an official committee overseeing the demolition of single-family homes and the establishment of a public participation office.

“I won’t hide the fact that the first few weeks were very intense. These are big days, and there are a lot of decisions to be made quickly. But I like it when things move, so I don’t have a problem with that, ”launches the new mayor. “We are on the same adrenaline rush as during the election campaign. It hasn’t really stopped since election day. “

White-tailed deer

A few days later, the City confirmed its intention to kill some sixty white-tailed deer from Michel-Chartrand Park. Despite a wave of outraged messages from residents, Catherine Fournier persisted and signed. “It is really an essential question to preserve the ecological balance of the Michel-Chartrand park, which is a jewel in Longueuil. “

The mayor, however, maintains that she received only one truly threatening message, which moreover led her to file a complaint with the Longueuil agglomeration police department. “Hateful messages were really in the minority,” she says. “I got a lot of messages of support from people who understood the decision. “

Catherine Fournier is not immune to the harassment and intimidation to which many politicians and public figures have been subjected on social networks in recent years. Several elected officials, including the outgoing mayor of Longueuil, Sylvie Parent, and the outgoing mayor of the Verdun borough, Jean-François Parenteau, have also left political life because they were outraged by this wave of hate speech. Catherine Fournier nevertheless pleads in favor of social networks, an effective tool for communicating with the population. “Even if sometimes it’s difficult – I lived a few episodes in the past – I think it’s an apprenticeship. I have managed more and more to separate things, ”she explains. “Faced with threats, I never hesitated to make a complaint to the police. I encourage everyone to do this. “

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