After spending 23 years as the Public Works Superintendent for the County of St. Paul, Leo DeMoissac has intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the county. He hopes to bring that knowledge and experience to the head of the table, as Reeve. “I know the county from one end, to the other end. I have a thorough working knowledge of the County; all the roads and the infrastructure.” DeMoissac retire as the Public Works Superintendent last year and took the year to make an informed decision on running for Reeve. Ultimately, it was his love for the County that had him enter the election race.
DeMoissac was born and raised in the county and he raised his family, four girls in the county. “It’s definitely my home, we had four daughters and they’ve given us 15 grandchildren (11 of them live in the County). There’s a lot of us here,” deep roots grows a love and passion for the area, says DeMoissac, “I’ve always have had a passion for the county.”
One of the biggest areas DeMoissac hopes to improve is communication among County employees, Councillors, Reeve and the residents. “I would like to see communication improve. Especially, when ratepayers phone and they want to see their Councillor. Maybe a lot of times, the Reeve should go out with the Councillor and be more involved with the [residents].”
“Lots of times, there’s smaller groups out there, like in lake lots, and they want to talk to the Councillor and the Reeve together. A lot of those issues can be brought up to Council afterwards.”
Communication is a key in all areas – Leo DeMoissac Candidate for Reeve County of St. Paul
Fiscal Responsibility on Council
“The budget is definitely a high priority. We have to start with ourselves, I know there’s a lot of spending among the Councillors,” DeMoissac says he would call for Council to be more prudent with their spending and to ensure that any extra costs are necessarily, “there’s a lot conventions that are not needed. We have to start with ourselves, more fiscal responsibility with the Councillors that are attending conventions and functions that are not necessarily relevant to our County.”
Improved Facilities & Recreation in Hamlets
“I would be a huge supporter of [improvements to recreation], especially within our hamlets.” Facility maintenance and improvements in Ashmont and Mallaig would be DeMoissac’s first priority when it comes to recreation in the County. “Our volunteers need a lot of help. Especially, in the hockey arenas and curling rink, they need a lot of help. We have to support our own.”
Building strong relationships with neighbouring communities is important to DeMoissac and it starts with communication, “we definitely have to improve communication with St. Paul and Elk Point. Being our neighbours we have to be supportive at all times.” DeMoissac recognizes that a lot of County residents use the towns facilities, “if it’s warranted, we have to help them.”
On the campaign trail, DeMoissac has been to over 1,800 residents and has heard much discussion and worrying about rural crime. “My conversation with the residents, that I’ve met, is we have to be helping ourselves. Neighbours have to watch for what’s happening in their local areas. If they see anything suspicious, they have to report it.”
He calls for more support for the Greater Lakeland Rural Crime Watch and the RCMP, “the County needs to be more supportive and host more meetings with the rural crime watch. And with the RCMP, they’re out there and they are catching them.” DeMoissac recognizes the bigger issues with the justice system, “the RCMP are catching them, but once they get to court, it’s taking two years; that’s just too long. When they get to court it’s getting thrown away. We need to lobby our government to speed up the process, get the criminals behind bars or heavier fines.”
“If I knew one or two peace officers would really help, I’d be supportive. But our neighbouring municipalities have peace officers and we hear just as much crime.” DeMoissac wouldn’t support the County paying for peace officers without statistics or proof that it would help reduce crime. “I’d be more supportive of supporting the rural crime watch and helping each other out. We have to be responsible for our budget. If we bring in peace officers, it starts off at $200,000 and grows. I’d rather invest that money into roads.”
Roads & Maintenance
As the Public Works Superintendent for 23 years, DeMoissac says roads will always be a high priority, “the traffic only gets bigger, heavier and faster. This County has done very well at looking after the roads for the last 20-30 years.” There are various programs that the County has been able to take advantage of, including the Resource Roads program.
The County has over 40 miles of paved roads, thanks in part to grant programs, “whatever grants are available, we have to take advantage of them and start paving more of the main routes.” The County will have to stay on top of maintenance of the roads, “it’s always a struggle, for sure.”
To the residents, every road is important, so we have to maintain all of them. – Leo DeMoissac Candidate for Reeve County of St. Paul.
“Come out and vote! There’s three good candidates to choose from; I really hope you choose me.” Leo DeMoissac is available to discuss issues important to you at 780-210-0759.
Advanced voting for the County of St. Paul is Saturday, October 7th at County of St. Paul Council Chambers and Elk Point Senior Centre from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Election day is October 16th from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. For more information as to where to vote or special polls, visit county.stpaul.ab.ca.
Lakeland Connect supports all candidates in the upcoming election. If you would like an interview, contact Jena 780-207-5898 or [email protected]