San­drine Gres­sard Be­langer – Con­ser­va­tive is new to re­gion and to pol­i­tics

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

The Con­ser­va­tives have cho­sen a rel­a­tive new­comer to this re­gion, busi­ness­woman San­drine Gres­sard Be­langer, as their can­di­date for the Comp­ton-Stanstead rid­ing. Mrs. Gres­sard Be­langer moved to Comp­ton, where she owns the Auberge Aux Beaux Can­tons, in 2009. This busi­ness­woman, who lived around the world be­fore set­tling in Que­bec, also does con­fer­ences and train­ing in so­cial me­dia and on-line mar­ket­ing and founded a lo­cal lead­er­ship cen­tre for women.

Mrs. Gres­sard Be­langer is not only new to the re­gion, she’s also new to pol­i­tics, hav­ing joined the Con­ser­va­tives in Fe­bru­ary of this year af­ter be­ing ap­proached by them. “I’d never been a mem­ber of a po­lit­i­cal party but ev­ery time there was an elec­tion I had strong opin­ions...now I want to make a dif­fer­ence in our so­ci­ety. My fo­cal point is the hu­man be­ing at the heart of it all with the econ­omy and ev­ery­thing else sur­round­ing.”

“Peo­ple all have a cy­cle they want to ac­com­plish but if we do that with­out think­ing of the con­se­quences...There is a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween men and women: it’s in­nate in women to think of con­se­quences. With more women in pol­i­tics we will fi­nally make de­ci­sions that make sense. That’s what I want to bring,” she added.

When asked what, in her opin­ion, were the re­gion’s most press­ing is­sues, Mrs. Gres­sard Be­langer com­mented: “I’ve been do­ing a needs as­sess­ment, meet­ing with peo­ple in Stanstead, Ayer’s Cliff, East An­gus, Cook­shire-Ea­ton and other places. There’s a real prob­lem of jobs, bring­ing in­dus­try to the re­gion. I was flab­ber­gasted that some schools didn’t have day care and of the lack of pub­lic trans­port. How can peo­ple re­cy­cle them­selves to en­ter so­ci­ety? In Coat­i­cook they had huge job losses but now they have pub­lic trans­port and the CRIFA where peo­ple

Hu­man­ist per­spec­tive can get train­ing to change ori­en­ta­tions. We need to be in­spired by these suc­cess sto­ries and re­pro­duce them in other ar­eas. And I see the An­g­los suf­fer­ing just be­cause they are An­g­los, and that’s not right.”

The top pri­or­ity for this Con­ser­va­tive is mak­ing sure peo­ple have jobs and a roof over their heads. “When peo­ple can­not feed their kids, how can we fo­cus on any­thing else? Peo­ple don’t want to be on wel­fare but how do they get off? I’m cre­ative and I’m sure there are so­lu­tions, like why not have an em­ploy­ment coun­sel­lor from Ma­gog come to Stanstead once a week?”

Asked for a fi­nal com­ment, Mrs. Gres­sard Be­langer said: “Mrs. Bon­sant has been around now for seven years. I re­spect her as a per­son but what has she been do­ing? She says she’s ‘de­fend­ing’ our in­ter­ests, well I want to ‘pro­mote’ our in­ter­ests. The Bloc puts forth the im­age of a Que­bec that wants to get out of Canada, but that’s not what the ma­jor­ity want. We need to give a new im­age of who we are; we don’t have that now and it’s hurt­ing our econ­omy.”

“I want peo­ple to vote, no mat­ter who they vote for. Other places in the world peo­ple are be­ing killed to vote, so don’t throw your vote away,” con­cluded the Con­ser­va­tive.

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