France Bonsant seeks 4th mandate
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.”