Celebrating 20 years: Portage Mayor Lynne Cameron

Zainab Al-Mehdar
Portage-du-Fort Jan. 10, 2023
Unexpectedly finding her way into local politics, Lynne Cameron, mayor of Portage-du-Fort, was recently recognized for her time and contribution to her municipality. Growing up in this community gave her pride to be the mayor and even with all the challenges that come with running a small town, she said it’s always exciting to overcome them in the end.
Cameron is in her fourth term as mayor of Portage-du-Fort, and prior to that served nine years as a councillor. Her time on council encouraged her to take the leap and run for mayor. She mentioned that former mayor Gerald Manwell made the transition easier for her because he guided her and was her right-hand man during her time.
“I remember saying, ‘oh my, I don’t think I know enough’ but he convinced me that you learn as you go and since then I have discovered that there’s something new all the time. There’s always something to learn. It’s exciting and interesting,” she said.
He taught her to persevere, take her time, listen to people, and be fair.
During the Dec. 21 Council of Mayors meeting Jane Toller presented Cameron with a plaque of recognition from the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) for her 20-plus years of service as a municipal elected official. Receiving it she said she was in shock that 20 years had flown by, but added that it was an honour to receive it.
“It was humbling. I’m not really one for the spotlight but it did mean a lot to me especially since Gerald received his two or three years ago,” she said.
One of the challenges of being a mayor is trying to please everyone and making hard decisions. Even when everyone wasn’t pleased with the choice, she said she’s always done things for the better of the municipality.
During her time as mayor, she has seen the changing of water lines, switching over to LED lights, paving roads, going under the fire services of Shawville and planting trees at their memorial park in memory of relatives from the community.
Going into the new year, they plan to focus more on the beautification of their parks and the area in general. “We’re the first municipality you see when coming into Quebec, so we’d like it to be a little extra special,” said Cameron.
Some of the projects they hope to tackle include adding hydro to their welcome cabin at the park and renovations to their town office. They also started a Facebook page for the 150 celebrations of Portage which will contain community information.
Cameron is proud of how far the town has come since she became mayor, and has a lot of pride in her community. “What makes me the proudest is the struggles we have overcome. I like to think that people driving through do see the improvements we make. Small but steady,” she said, adding that there is “lots more to come.”

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