The race to become mayor of Saint-Anicet is heating up for this fall. Following the announcement of Ex-serviceman Gino Moretti, it is now Mr. André Picard’s, a municipal councillor for ten years, who has decided to throw his hat in the ring. “It’s time for me to take on the challenge,” says Mr. Picard. “I have a solid understanding of the issues, and my involvement with community groups has allowed me to work closely with citizens and to understand their needs.”
Before joining the municipal council in Saint-Anicet, André Picard was employed with Canadian National for exactly 33 years and 1 months. He served as a locomotive engineer and freight train conductor. He believes his job, which saw him travel throughout a large part of Quebec, has well-prepared him to take on the job of mayor. “Being a conductor requires vigilance, sound and prompt judgement, and a high degree of self-confidence,” says the candidate, “as you have to ensure the efficient and safe movement of both goods and people.”
When he retired in 2005, he and his wife Denise opted to settle in Saint-Anicet. Denise proudly reminisces of her attachment to the lakeside property purchased by her parents some fifty years ago. “Many of my family memories are attached to it,” she says. “I remember, when we were young, we always looked forward to arriving in Saint-Anicet.”
Upon moving to Saint-Anicet, Mr. Picard devoted himself to various organizations, including the Club Optimiste de Saint-Anicet, the Cazaville Golden Age Club, and the Friends of the Lake St-François National Wildlife Area. He has held various leadership positions within these groups over the past ten years. His involvement in the food drive and Christmas celebrations for children is widely known throughout the municipality. For Mr. Picard, it is imperative to help the disadvantaged. The man wears his heart on his sleeve. During the winter, he even feeds the birds in the Wildlife Reserve by filling their feeders.
For André Picard, what makes Saint-Anicet so special is the lake, the land and its citizens. His philosophy when it comes to public affairs is simple but clear: “It is important to never forget that elected officials are always accountable to citizens when they occupy a position on the municipal council. To sit at a round table and discuss is of paramount importance. At the same time, things still have to happen. ”
Denise St-Germain, Volunteer Correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent
Photography: Lise Guinard