It’s been clear for a while that the 2018 municipal election would be an interesting one. In the Town of Hawkesbury, many candidates threw their hats into the ring, presenting voters with quite the choice.

One of this year’s youngest candidates is also one of the most enthusiastic: Marie Valérie, young business woman, law student and Hawkesbury native is ready for the challenge of city council. For her, the step into politics seems to be a natural one.

“My interest in politics started at a young age. My father was also involved in politics and ran for councillor in 2006,” said Valérie.

Valérie stated that her decision to enter the race was made after she’d received a lot of local solicitation, the positive support precipitating her move into the political arena.

“I was also very much inspired by some of the political figures around me. Francis Drouin is a great example. Also, my neighbour Germaine Nadeau’s son, Richard, is a member of the Bloc Québécois,” explained Valérie.

Like many, Valérie is highly motivated by Hawkesbury’s dormant potential, stating that she would love to see her town open up to new economic possibilities in order to halt the exodus of the younger crowd.

“I’d love to see more young people stay here and assume leadership roles in the community. For that, we need to inspire them and give them room to innovate. The town’s role is to encourage all this,” said Valérie.

In terms of economic development, Valérie firmly believes that Hawkesbury needs to bolster its efforts, attracting even more investors and job creators.

“Big or small, these investors are the ones that bring work and prosperity. We have to make them aware of our potential and create advantages for them through an open mind,” said Valérie.

A proud franco-ontarian, Valérie would love nothing more than to see Hawkesbury’s unique culture become a beacon, attracting tourists who wish to experience Hawkesbury’s unique take on Canadian francophone culture.

“I’d love to see some night life in our downtown core. To see a proud sense of community take shape with the help of residents and business owners.”

“I want people to help me out. I want them to help me win a seat at council. It doesn’t stop there. After a win, I’ll still need their help. They are the face and voice of Hawkesbury and it’s up to us, together, to bring prosperity. There’s a Latin expression I like: ‘Dum spiro spero’. It means ‘While I breathe, I hope’. We need to have hope and faith in our town,” said Valérie.