Three more candidates vie for Pointe Claire election

Incumbent Bissonnette seeks third term and Belvedere wants mayoral chair, while Arsenault goes at it again

By Kevin Woodhouse

The municipal election is heating up in Pointe Claire with three new candidates declaring their intentions to run, incumbent Lakeside councilor Paul

Bissonnette is seeking a third term, longtime volunteer and president of SSPPC (Societe pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe Claire Claude Arsenault who lost his bid for a seat in the last election by only three votes and John Belvedere, new to municipal politics, who wants to sit as mayor.

Bissonnette is hoping for a third consecutive mandate and is planning to attract more businesses to the industrial park as part of his election platform. “The industrial Park was built in the early 60s and while those large warehouses were the industry requirements at the time, the market has changed,” Bissonnette told The Suburban.

The incumbent councilor wants to revitalize Pointe Claire Village and right now a paid study is underway by an outside firm to “find out what we want to do with the village and how to develop the heritage site so that it can appeal to citizens.”

He also wants the civic centre project to see the light of day as “the idea was born in the 60s to create a civic centre near our pool, library and town hall. With our aging population, we will need to think about elevator access for the new centre.”

Bisonnette discussed the last council’s mandate which has been able to keep ” taxes at a modest level, we have maintained and in most cases improved the services offered to Pointe Claire residents.”

In his own district, a project of note will be the new life given to the old St. Louis School that has been bought by St. Paul Coptic Church, which plans for a “new church and public hall that will feature underground parking.”

Arsenault, who has spent years working on enhancing the village, will be running again as councillor for District 1, which comprises Pointe Claire Village.

One of the things the longtime volunteer wants to change is how he perceives citizens are treated at council meetings. “We need to listen to them better because I have seen volunteers come with a lot of energy to meetings and they did not always get a good reception,” Arsenault told The Suburban.

He would also like to see improved municipal patrols in the village between midnight-3 a.m., as some residents told Arsenault that “they do not always feel safe when the clients leave the bars as some have had vandalism to their yards or have had to deal with graffiti.”

For seniors living in Pointe Claire, Arsenault would like to offer them more services as “there is a need for more short and long term care needs because I know of some seniors who have had to leave Pointe Claire to get services.”

Belvedere is “very passionate about Pointe Claire and having retired in 2005, I have the time and vision to run for office.”

While he has no former political experience on a municipal council, Belvedere would “bring a clean slate” to local politics and would work on following up on dossiers so that “citizens can get the answers they want.”

Belvedere has been president of the Pointe Claire Village Pool and was part of the city’s centennial committee.

“I will be running on transparency, communication and accountability,” said Belvedere and like Bissonnette and Arsenault, wants to revitalize the village.”
“We need to also attract new businesses to our industrial park to keep our tax base low,” said Belvedere. “I want to act as a facilitator and mobilize the community to bring new energy towards responsible spending, efficient and innovative ways of solving problems and a renewed sense of trust and pride.”

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