Pierre Leroux is now the of­fi­cial Liberal can­di­date for Glen­gar­ry-Pres­cott-Rus­sell for the June pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

Leroux was acclaimed, April 13, as suc­ces­sor to re­ti­ring Liberal MPP Grant Crack, du­ring a ri­ding as­so­cia­tion mee­ting in St. Isi­dore. Tra­di­tio­nal su­per­sti­tion has Fri­day the 13 as an un­lu­cky day but Leroux saw it as a good omen for him and a bad one for his elec­tion com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s star­ting off well,” he said du­ring a brief me­dia scrum with lo­cal re­por­ters fol­lo­wing his confir­ma­tion, which in­clu­ded wel­co­ming speeches from ve­te­ran senior Li­be­rals like for­mer GPR MP and fe­de­ral ca­bi­net mi­nis­ter Don Bou­dria, and Jean-Marc La­londe, a long­time MPP for the ri­ding un­der se­ve­ral pre­miers.

Leroux na­med two key concerns he will pur­sue as part of his cam­pai­gn du­ring the next few weeks. One is the up­gra­ding of the Coun­ty Road 17/High­way 174 link bet­ween Ro­ck­land and Or­léans, to deal with gro­wing wor­ries over traf­fic conges­tion and sa­fe­ty along the route.

The other con­cern is the pro­blem with the Ci­ty of Ot­ta­wa “bor­ro­wing” Pres­cott-Rus­sell am­bu­lance ser­vice units to deal with its gro­wing num­ber of emer­gen­cy calls, ra­ther than ex­pan­ding its own am­bu­lance ser­vice. The si­tua­tion of­ten leaves Pres­cott-Rus­sell wi­thout avai­lable am­bu­lance units for its own emer­gen­cy calls.

“That’s so­me­thing that af­fects us all,” said Leroux. “The first prio­ri­ty of a mu­ni­ci­pal (go­vern­ment) is to be able to pro­tect your own re­si­dents.”

“He won’t need on-the-job trai­ning,” said Bou­dria, du­ring his congra­tu­la­to­ry speech on Leroux’s confir­ma­tion. “He’s al­rea­dy trai­ned to do the job. That’s why we need him as our MPP. He ‘gets it’. He knows what it in­volves to bring in big things for his area. He will do the same for Glen­gar­ry-Pres­cott-Rus­sell as he did for Rus­sell Town­ship.”

Du­ring his own ac­cep­tance speech, Leroux lis­ted aid for in­fra­struc­ture, ex­pan­sion of na­tu­ral gas ser­vice, im­pro­ved In­ter­net ac­cess, and lo­cal go­vern­ment au­to­no­my among the needs and concerns for re­si­dents of Glen­gar­ry-Pres­cott-Rus­sell. He no­ted that the ri­ding has a strong tra­di­tion of suc­cess with a team­work ap­proach when lob­bying the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment on is­sues.

“To­ge­ther, we can do bet­ter,” he said, “and that’s the ap­proach I want to bring at Queen’s Park. Our grea­test strength in GPR is its people.”

—pho­to Gregg Chamberlain

Pierre Leroux, en­tou­ré de Don Bou­dria et de Grant Crack à sa gauche, avec sa femme Lynn et Jean-Marc La­londe à sa droite, at­tend la confir­ma­tion of­fi­cielle de sa no­mi­na­tion à titre de can­di­dat li­bé­ral dans Glen­gar­ry-Pres­cott-Rus­sell, le 13 avril, lors...

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