Laval’s new mayor open to public hearings on smart meters

Former TV host has solid financial, health care credentials

By Robert Frank

Clean living has long been Martine Beaugrand’s watchword. Though that passion pertains to healthy lifestyle, it also might have helped catapult her to the mayor’s office, July 3. Beaugrand is one of only two Laval city councillors not to have been implicated in allegations of illegal campaign financing before the Charbonneau Commission, last month.

As the only councillor to throw her hat in the ring, after Mayor Alexandre Duplessis, resigned, June 28, Beaugrand, 52, was acclaimed as interim mayor last week. She will remain at the helm of Quebec’s third-largest city until the next municipal election, Nov. 3.

Although a newcomer to politics when she was elected to represent the citizens of Fabreville district in 2009, she had for some time been involved in a range of community organizations. She served as president of the Champfleury residents’ association and was a member of the Laval Technopole board of directors, a post she continues to hold.

For the past 30 years, Beaugrand—who grew up in Duvernay and graduated from Laval’s Montmorency College—has lived in Champfleury, where she raised her two children, Philippe-Antoine, 27, and Marie-Sarah, 14.

Health care career

She earned a master’s degree in health care administration after studying finance at University of Montreal—an academic vocation which subsequently served her well as chair of the Laval’s audit committee.

During the first decade of her career, Beaugrand worked at the Cité de la santé superhospital, Laval’s regional health care authority and the Sacré Cœur Hospital Foundation.

She later garnered stints as a television host for Vox, Canal Savoir and Argent, and is currently employed by ACTI-MENU, an offshoot of the Montreal Heart Institute, where she encourages municipalities to take action to promote healthy lifestyles.

Thinks green

When she first succeeded André Boileau as Fabreville councillor, Beaugrand made it clear that the environment was her passion. She has pursued that interest diligently, and now chairs the Montreal Metropolitan Community’s environmental commission and is also a member of the Union des municipalités du Québec’s recreation, culture and community life commission.

In particular, after she was elected in 2009, Beaugrand underscored the importance of developing the city’s sprawling Bois d’equerre forest—a priority that she reiterated publicly when she took office as mayor last week.

Beaugrand has also voiced her openness to holding hearings to sound out Laval citizens on their views about Hydro-Québec’s Smart Meters, which the giant state hydroelectric monopoly recently imposed on ratepayers throughout the province.

Although she has indicated that she does not plan to run for mayor in November, she remains interested in serving another term as Fabreville’s city councillor.

As The Suburban went to press Monday evening, Beaugrand was preparing for her first city council meeting as mayor.

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