Lafleur was nominated for candidacy by François St-Amour, mayor of The Nation, which was seconded by Robert Kirby, mayor of East Hawkesbury. They were invited to speak on behalf of their nominee and had only good things to say about him.
“To make this year memorable, let us all work in unison to the greater good of our beautiful region,” St-Amour said. “We are all looking forward to get going on many projects in Prescott and Russell. Let’s get to work.”
“You are personal conviction, a community leader, and a hard-working man, with a wonderful wife by your side,” Kirby said of Lafleur. “For these reasons, I have no concerns you will succeed in your new role.”
Lafleur then stepped up to the podium and thanked outgoing Warden Stéphane Sarrazin for his hard work and great leadership during his term. Lafleur thanked his colleagues for their support, saying he could not hope to undertake the role without them, and said he would endeavour to see the region grow during the next year. Lafleur said he will prioritize construction of the Prescott and Russell Residence, as well as general health and safety through the Prescott and Russell Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. He also cited cooperation with nearby regions as an important goal of his.
“I am looking forward to maintaining excellent relationships with our neighboring communities. In these uncertain times, we must work with Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Cornwall, and the city of Ottawa, as well as all other Eastern Ontario communities to address any potential regional concerns,” he said. “This will also mean advocating for Prescott and Russell through the Eastern Ontario caucus. Uniting the voice of the Eastern Ontario community is key in ensuring we are heard in Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill.”
Outgoing Warden Stéphane Sarrazin took the opportunity to distribute $18,500 that was raised during the Warden’s Golf Tournament in August and the Warden’s Banquet in November, two very successful events that were held in Sarrazin’s term. Sarrazin gave $2,500 to the Prescott-Russell Autism Group, $2,500 to the Wendover Optimist Club for their Youth Softball League, $2,500 to Soccer Pro17, $2,500 to the Scouts of the 58th Group of Fournier, $2,500 to Pumas Volleyball, $2,000 to the Alfred Optimist Club for their Snowsuits initiative, $2,000 to the 2804 Cadets of Casselman, and $2,000 to the Clarence-Rockland Ringette Association.
The meeting adjourned with a final speech by Lafleur.
« It is with great honour, pride, and humility that I accept to take on the role of Warden of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell for the important year ahead. As we continue to live with the consequences and uncertainties of this pandemic, I am committed to working persistently for the good of all our residents, » Lafleur said. « I look forward to carrying on with the work on the many regional priorities, while continuing to promote unity within the Council and advocate for regional interests. »