France Bon­sant seeks 4th man­date

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Bloc­Que­be­cois can­di­date France Bon­sant, who won the Stanstead-Comp­ton rid­ing in the last three fed­eral elec­tions with ad­vances of 4000, 9000 and 9000 votes, is run­ning again. “A cam­paign is never easy. But peo­ple know me now and they know how I work, so that makes it eas­ier. And I haven’t lost my pas­sion for pol­i­tics,” com­mented Mrs. Bon­sant last Satur­day, in be­tween vis­it­ing ad­vanced polling sta­tions in St. Elie d’Or­ford, Rock For­est and As­cot. “It’s go­ing good at the polling sta­tions; there are lots of peo­ple vot­ing and a lot of young peo­ple. I con­grat­u­lated them for vot­ing,” she said.

Mrs. Bon­sant spoke about some of the is­sues she has been work­ing on in Par­lia­ment. “The most im­por­tant is­sue has been agri­cul­ture. I asked for a mo­tion in the House of Com­mons to keep the sup­ply man­age­ment pro­gram in ef­fect. The Con­ser­va­tives want to get rid of it,” said the Bloc can­di­date. “The sup­ply man­age­ment pro­gram sub­si­dizes agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers in the milk, egg and poul­try in­dus­tries. We also be­lieve or­ganic prod­ucts are im­por­tant and we want to see stud­ies on GMOs (ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied food). We’re not against all GMOs but cer­tain types can con­tam­i­nate neigh­bour­ing farms caus­ing cross-pol­li­na­tion and then the farm can no longer be cer­ti­fied or­ganic.” She has been the agri­cul­ture and the agri-food spokesper­son for the Bloc Que­be­cois since 2009.

Mrs. Bon­sant also men­tioned the ‘pro­ject C 343’, which she has al­ready sub­mit­ted twice in the House of Com­mons. It is a law that, if en­acted, would give aid to peo­ple who have lost loved ones through acts of vi­o­lence. “We’d like those peo­ple to be el­i­gi­ble for fifty-two weeks of spe­cial un­em­ploy­ment in­surance and at least a two year guar­an­tee that they can get their job back when they go back to work.”

“The borders are also most im­por­tant. I have seven bor­der cross­ings in my rid­ing and I’ve vis­ited ev­ery one. Now there are al­ways two peo­ple at ev­ery cross­ing, more of them are armed and they have more equip­ment to work with,” she com­mented.

The Bloc can­di­date wants to see big changes in the Em­ploy­ment In­surance pro­gram. “We’d like to see the manda­tory six hun­dred and twenty hours go down to three hun­dred and sixty hours of work right away and we’d like to take away the two week wait­ing time be­fore col­lect­ing the first cheque. We’d also like to see the ben­e­fits go up from fifty-five % of the salary to sixty % and that it is cal­cu­lated on the best twelve weeks of em­ploy­ment, not the last twelve weeks,” Mrs. Bon­sant ex­plained. She also men­tioned an old is­sue: the fact that in re­cent years the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments in power have taken fifty-seven bil­lion dol­lars out of the Em­ploy­ment In­surance pro­gram. “This pro­gram is al­most like a dis­guised tax. Fifty-five per­cent of the peo­ple who pay into the pro­gram can’t even col­lect and most of those are women. We need to look at the pro­gram from A to Z.”

To con­clude the in­ter­view, Mrs. Bon­sant said: “Get out and vote be­cause ev­ery vote is im­por­tant.”

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