By Gordon Lambie
Local Journalism Initiative
Évelyne Beaudin was elected Mayor of Sherbrooke on Monday night, becoming the first woman to occupy the position in the history of the city. As leader of the Sherbrooke Citoyen political party, Beaudin ran on a platform of overhauling the city’s system of governance to put a greater emphasis on citizen consultation, transparency, and the environment.
“We said that we were going to have a historic election and I think we can say mission accomplished,” she said, speaking to her supporters just after 10:30 p.m. pointing out that in addition to electing an unprecedented number of women to municipal office, the people of the city also elected Sherbrooke’s first black city councillor, first immigrant city councillor, and first city councillor of Chinese descent, all of whom happen to be members of her party. “I highlight these things because these people are as much Quebecers, as much people of Sherbrooke as you or me, but there is discrimination that we live when we have a physical appearance that is different from a ‘traditional’ politician,” she said. “There is not just one type of politician in life.”
Beaudin named her first priorities as being to respond to the housing crisis, the environmental crisis, and the crisis of distrust in the political world on the local level.