A change in leadership is on the way in Hawkesbury. Paula Assaly defeated current mayor Jeanne Charlebois in Monday’s municipal election and will become the town’s next mayor.

Assaly received 2,297 votes and Charlebois earned 1,485 votes. Gilbert Cyr came in third on the ballot with 548 votes. Twenty voters spoiled their ballots and 12 people did not vote for mayor but voted for other positions that were on the ballot.

The mayor-elect thanked her supporters and family, including her husband and two sons. Assaly pledged to do her very best for all citizens. “The people of Hawkesbury are special. They are nice people and they want a nice town. I’m going to give it to them,” she said in a short speech before about 150 people, including most of the other candidates, who had gathered in the hall on the upper level of the Robert Hartley Recreation Complex to wait for the election results.

Paula Assaly has many years of experience as a community organizer and has been campaigning for the mayor’s job for the past seven months. She was the first candidate to officially enter the race, in March of this year. Assaly campaigned on helping Hawkesbury realize its own economic and cultural potential. One of her strategies is to increase revenue to sustain the municipality. Culture and tourism are major parts of her plan to do this and she wants to make sure Hawkesbury is more successful at securing grants for projects related to those areas.  Assaly would like to see Chenail Island become a bigger tourist destination.

Improved transparency between council and residents is another of Assaly’s priorities. Efforts to reduce poverty in the community are also a big part of her plans and she said it will be the issue she focuses on first after taking office.

Assaly said Hawkesbury residents want results they can notice in the community.

“People wanted change that was visible to their eyes,” she said.”

As for working with the new council, Assaly said she is looking forward to cooperating with the other councillors and said her track record in the community shows she can get along with people.

Jeanne Charlebois, who has been Hawkesbury’s mayor since 2014 and lost this election to Paula Assaly, seemed surprised by the election result but was trying to be optimistic. Charlebois said she plans to reconnect with family and friends and spend more time “taking care of Jeanne.”

Council race

There are six seats on Hawkesbury council and no wards so the six candidates with the highest number of votes are elected. Out of the 15 candidates, Antonios Tsourounakis, led the polls with 2,311 votes.  Lawrence Bogue received the second-highest number of votes with 1,942. Incumbent councillor André (CHAM) Chamaillard was re-elected with 1,795 votes. Robert Lefebvre was elected with 1,656 votes—the fourth-highest number, and Yves Paquette was re-elected, receiving 1,591 votes. The sixth-highest number of votes and a seat on council went to Raymond Campbell whose total was 1,490.

Incumbent councillor Pierre Ouellet was defeated. He received 573 votes. Councillors Daniel Lalonde, Johanne Portelance, and Michel Thibodeau did not seek re-election.

In total, 19,863 votes for councillor positions were cast. There were 33 spoiled ballots and 12 people declined to vote for councillor positions. In Hawkesbury, voting is by telephone or internet.

All school board trustee positions in Hawkesbury were acclaimed.

The Hawkesbury election results arrived quickly. They were announced less than 40 minutes after voting closed at 8:00 pm. Everyone, especially town election officials, were eager to get the results quickly and not have a repeat of the long delay that happened in 2014.


Assaly, Paula 2,297
Charlebois, Jeanne 1,485
Cyr, Gilbert 548
Spoiled ballots 20
Declined ballots 12
Total votes 4,362



Batista, Grace 1,428
Blackburn, Felix 783
Bogue, Lawrence 1,942
Campbell, Raymond 1,490
Chamaillard (CHAM) André 1,795
Jean-Louis, Bonnie 1,363
Ladouceur, Carole 517
Ladouceur, Nathalie 1,326
Lefebvre, Robert 1,656
Mingarelli, Karen 791
Ouellet, Pierre 573
Paquette, Yves 1,591
Pilon, André 1,357
Tsourounakis, Antonios 2,311
Valérie, Marie 865
Spoiled ballots 33
Declined ballots 42
Total votes 19,863