What they said: candidate priorities in Mégantic | Elections Quebec 2022

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What they said: the priorities of the candidates in M&éga;gantic | ÉQuebec 2022 elections

During coming weeks, the candidates for the ridings of Mégantic, Brome-Missisquoi and Saint-François will march past Laurie Dufresne's microphone at Vivement le retour to express themselves on the issues affecting their region, and the priorities they intend to defend on behalf of their fellow citizens.

The riding of Mégantic is made up of several small municipalities and a strong rurality.

Nestled between Sherbrooke and Beauce, the American border and the Centre-du-Québec region, the riding of Mégantic represents approximately 49,000 electors spread over a vast territory, and living mainly in small rural communities.

Public transit, the vitality of villages, the cost of living and access to high-speed Internet represent issues that have come up frequently in recent years, but also the current alignment of the bypass, even though it is under federal jurisdiction.

Cell coverage

Among François Jacques' priorities for the constituency is cellular coverage, which is lacking in the area.

In the riding of Mégantic, there are a lot of mountains, so cellular coverage is very important in the area and it is difficult to regulate. We know that we have settled the Internet issue. For cellular coverage, our government has promised investments of $3 billion and, with private contributions, $4.8 billion.

Public transit

According to the outgoing MP, it is essential to improve the efficiency of public transit service in the riding.

< p class="e-p">It takes interconnection between the MRCs so that there is adequate transportation to Sherbrooke, to hospitals, CEGEPs and all that. We have put a lot of money back into public transit services, there have been efforts that have also been made during the pandemic to give these organizations the chance to continue to serve the population effectively. There is still a lot of work to do, especially in the regions.

Securing the road 112

< p class="e-p">François Jacques has also formally committed to securing Route 112 if he obtains a second mandate.

There was a plan that had been explained to the municipalities that are on the road. This is an important issue for the entire constituency. This is the road that goes from Sherbrooke to Thetford Mines, from Sherbrooke to Lac-Mégantic. It is a road that receives more than 17,000 vehicles per day. […] What I promised was that work would begin in the next term.

Food insecurity< /p>

Fighting food insecurity is the Liberal candidate's main concern.

The rise in the cost of living, with inflation, everything that is food, it becomes extremely expensive. That's why it's important to make it a priority for families, individuals, so that they respond to this increase. We are talking about QST reduction on certain products.

The Liberal candidate served as president of the non-profit organization Meals on Wheels Association of Metropolitan Montreal.

Labour shortage< /em>

The candidate maintains that the lack of infrastructure and services does not favor the retention of staff in the region.

We are committed to listening to the regions, to each municipality, to working together with them to find out what needs to be improved and how the provincial government can provide additional resources so that people feel good in the regions, in Lac- Mégantic, and contribute to the development of the region.

Agricultural policy

The candidate recalls that QS wants 70% of the food served in public institutions to come from Quebec, hence the initiatives to help young farmers. She also points out that these will be very little affected by the “orange tax”, even if they still have very high assets.

People are still quite indebted, we're not going to hide it. […] We want to talk about the creation of land trusts for agricultural succession. Currently, it is very difficult for young people who want to start projects. QS wants to acquire land to make land trusts, with protection with an exclusively agricultural component. This would allow young people to start their project without being in debt and having to buy farmland.

Marilyn Ouellet and her husband are farmers themselves.

Environment

She admits that even on whether she strongly opposed the Caravaning Weedon project, it will be difficult to stop the current project. Its involvement will aim more broadly to ensure the protection of wetlands.

I will listen to the population, but our objective at Québec solidaire is to protect wetlands. If the Ministry of the Environment says that it is not possible, it will play its role at the regulatory level. Personally, my role as an MP was to support citizens concerned about this project.

Public transport

The candidate points out that public transit organizations lack funding to provide quality services.

At QS, this requires leadership to adequately fund non-profit organizations in general, but particularly in the case of public transit, both in Haut Saint-François and in Granit, and in the other two MRCs as well.

Bypass

Even if the bypass is a federal responsibility, the candidate has already spoken out against the project, believing that it must absolutely go back to the drawing board.

There is a lot of social acceptability work that needs to be done […] As it is, it is in no way acceptable from a social, human or economic point of view . People have to understand that it's not just the three municipalities that are affected, but all of Quebec that will pay this bill […] I want to listen to citizens and support them in their steps.

The PQ candidate in Mégantic, André Duncan, opposes the current route of the bypass .

Local governance

The candidate recalls that the PQ wants to recreate a ministry that will restore powers to the regions.

We are the ones on the ground. We know the issues, we see them, we understand them, the issues. We are close to our citizens. Files that could be settled quickly, such as the CPE in Stoke, the file is stagnating and has been refused to the Ministry of the Family while it has the support of elected municipal officials!

Education

The candidate visited the school in Scotstown, which is undergoing renovations, and received a list of requests from pupils.

I have given them my word of honour, whether elected or not, that I will press for these demands to be carried out.

Promotion of entrepreneurship

The candidate with a past of entrepreneurship is of the opinion that the entrepreneurship should be further encouraged in the constituency.

I am an action guy. I've started more than one business and sold two to date. […] I like to promote entrepreneurship. In the county of Mégantic, the population is aging, so it is a solution, I believe, to keep the youngest in the regions and create jobs.

Labour Shortage

Mathieu Chenard believes that companies need more support to make up for the lack of workers.

I think that there would be optimization to be done, encourage the companies to be modernized or automated. You have to do some work up front. […] From secondary 3, there are a lot of school dropouts, so we want to make vocational studies diplomas (DEP) accessible, whether they be those of electromechanics, welders or machinist, to help have more and more specialized manpower.

Health

The Conservative also wants to make more room for the private sector in the health network in Quebec.

For 30 or 40 years, we know that it is not come. The pandemic has brought to light what we knew was going to happen one day: the aging of the population. The network is currently at its wit's end, and there is an exodus of employees. […] The solution is to include private support.

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