At All-Candidates night: Industry need aired

February 6, 2017

I have to say that covering election town hall meetings was always something that filled me with excitement.

The hall is usually packed full and there is a buzz in the air as everyone files in, greets their friends and relatives and settles in for an interesting time.

Usually the candidates actually are interesting. You don’t run for office if you do not have something articulate and even passionate to say about what is happening in your community, district, province or country.

It is a time for the journalist to write or type like crazy in order to get it all down. Here is one result:

Gravelbourg Gazette
October 26, 1982
At All-Candidates night: Industry need aired
by Tanya Lester

Industrial development and summaries of Gravelbourg’s past accomplishments were reoccurring themes of the council candidates’ speeches at last Thursday’s all candidates meeting.

About 40 residents attended the meeting which was sponsored by the Board of Trade. The Knights of Columbus donated their hall for the evening. Don McCahill, Board of Trade president, chaired the meeting.

The meeting began with an explanation of this year’s voting procedures by Ernie Karlson, the town clerk. Voting will take place at the Knights of Columbus Hall from 10:00 am to 8:00pm on this Wednesday, October 27.

Mr. Karlson explained that anyone who is a Canadian citizen, has lived in Gravelbourg for at least six months, and is 18 years of age or older is eligible to vote for the town council. The same stipulations apply for those voting for the school board with one exception. Anyone who lives within the school district, but not necessarily within the town, may vote for the school trustees.

Most voters, however, will be casting two ballots — one for the town council and one for the school board. Mr. Karlson said each voter can tick off a maximum of six names for town council and a maximum of five names for school board. Before receiving the ballots, each voter will be required to sign a declaration in lieu of a voter’s list.

Mr. Karlson explained that there will be two voters’ polls. One will be for those living west of Main St. while the other will cover those living east of Main St. Each poll will have a deputy returning officer who will sign each ballot.

The six candidates with the highest number of votes will win the council seats. The five school board candidates with the most votes will win the school trustee seats. Mr. Karlson said the election results should be announced at 9:00 pm on election day.

Following Mr. Karlson, Guy Dauphinais, who has been declared to office as mayor for another term, made a short speech in which he thanked the retiring councilors for their years of service to the community. They are Aime Bouvier, Louis Marchand, and Louis Stringer. Mr. Dauphinais also “extended wishes of good luck to all aspiring councilors.”

Denis L’Heureux, the first council candidate to speak, indicated that running for council on the “new industry” platform had been a theme often repeated over the years. He said it had become “almost a Motherhood” issue.

“We must be wary of change for change sake,” Mr. L’Heureux said. He said it is a time for holding a line on essentials while cutting back on the frills. However, he did indicate that we cannot close our eyes to change. He talked about the recreational complex and other of the town’s achievements.

Guy Prefontaine said his past two years on council had been “fruitful years”. He mentioned the town’s achievements including the construction of the recreational complex and road paving.

Mr. Prefontaine said he could not make too many promises but if re-elected would like to curb expenses and cut down on taxes. He said the town should be in good shape for future development in two or three years.

Marie-Rose Archambault said she had majored in French in university and believed that was important in a town like Gravelbourg. She felt her experience as a teacher has taught her to give guidance and to listen. Her experience, Mrs. Archambault said, as a principal has provided her with administrative skills. She feels all these skills would be important assets if she is elected to council.

Mrs. Archambault said being a businessperson at the Mayfair Motel keeps her in touch with the “pulse of the community”. She indicated that the development of the town within the eight years that she has lived here has been remarkable.

Mrs. Archambault advocates bringing more industry into the town. She said a pet food plant could be set up because this area has cattle for meat and grain that could be used as the cereal to make pet food. She also said the town could start a catering service. Both pet food and catering services are imported from the East, Mrs. Archambault said.

Mrs. Archambault felt a woman is needed on council and said her good friendship with Premier Grant Devine would help her as a councillor.

Dr. CWL Draper began his speech by jokingly indicating that he thought the town council needed a token Anglophone and Protestant. He talked about the town’s past accomplishments such as the road paving and recapping and the complex.

He said of the six years that he has lived in Gravelbourg , he has spent four on council. Dr. Draper said he liked living in a small town and his family is happier here than in other Saskatchewan towns where they lived previously. “If you want to learn what’s going on in Gravelbourg, join the town council,” he said.

He said the town must be circumspect concerning is invited into Gravelbourg but he would like to attract new industry and new families. He also said more housing is needed and the water storage plant must be completed.

Claude Piche told the meeting briefly what he had done on the two years he had been on council, and said he would make no promises for the coming term.

He pointed out that he had saved the town about $1500 by no charging an hourly rate for supervising town employees, as previous public works chairmen had.

J.P. Bouvier said he decided to run for council now that most of the large construction projects in the town are nearing completion, so there wouldn’t be any problems with conflict of interest.

He said he has spoken with government officials in Regina, and was assured there shouldn’t be any conflict problems.

He also said industry was a major concern for the town, and said more industrial sites and quality of the water are major concerns.

Cleo Thibodeau, a former councilor, said if he is elected again he will “devote myself whole-heartedly to the interests of the town.”

He said there is an urgent need for industry in the town, and said consultants should be hired…
–END–

To read more posts on this blog, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya is a psychic who has been specializing in tea leaf reading and tarot for the last 20 years. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. For more go to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google as well as teareading.wordpress.com Or email: tealeaf.56@gmail.com or cell at 250-538-0086

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