Stanstead to vote in two ridings?
It seems like someone at the Parti Québécois got either a map from the future or got this year’s election wrong one. As of yesterday, the signs for the party’s candidate in Stanstead are those of the Saint-François riding candidate and potential Health Minister if his party is in power, Dr. Réjean Hébert! Questioned last week about this, Orford PQ candidate, Michel Breton, said that he had told his fellow candidate to remove them on Friday.
Mr. Breton, who is running against incumbent Pierre Reid for the third time, is obviously looking for all the “progressive” votes he can muster, as this was the recurring theme at a press conference last week. “Our internal surveys showed that 2,000 PQ voters who had told us that they would vote stayed home.” With the new riding redistribution the candidate believes that he could have a short win. This was before the Duchesneau effect that seems to have rearranged the political scene a lot.
Also running against Mr. Reid for the third time is Quebec Solidaire’s Patricia Tremblay. The nurse, a familiar face in envi- ronment circles for her involvement in the Lake Lovering Association, is not putting too much hope in unseating the incumbent. “I would be happy if I could double our vote from the last time. What I want to do is explain what our program is, that we defend social values.” When asked about public transport in the MRC, she told the Stanstead Journal that she would present a proposal on this in the next few weeks.
Up to yesterday, the François Legault-led Coalition Avenir Quebec local candidate, Jean L’Écuyer, had not held a press conference, but he has obviously won the sign war everywhere in the riding.
If the pretenders to the Orford M.N.A. seat want to unseat Pierre Reid, they will first have to convince the electorate that they can do better than he has over the last few years. Speaking to the media on Monday, with sheets of data, he showed that the tens of millions in grants and subsidies that the provincial government showered in the riding over the last few years have brought over $142,000,000 in investment. “And I did not include everything,” he added. Mr. Reid, usually a study in composure, almost lost it when the subject of corruption surfaced from questions by this newspaper. “One thing I’m sure of: I’ve never seen someone offering an envelope.”
Mr. Reid’s seat must be taken for granted by the Liberals as Premier Charest did not see fit to stop in Orford yesterday while spending a full day in the Townships.
Later in the afternoon, in Lennoxville in the Saint-François riding, two Liberal Ministers, Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Kathleen Weil and Minister of Families, Yolande James, came to show support to the Liberal candidate, Nathalie Goguen, who must have been the chosen Liberal candidate for a while as the former M.N.A., retiring Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, gave a large hint that no media took. When retiring, she said that a good experience for a candidate is municipal politics: Mrs. Goguen is a Sherbrooke municipal councillor.
This poster of PQ St. Francois candidate, Dr. Rejean Hebert, In front of Stanstead Journal.
Michel Breton, seen here at a press conference last week, is the Orford PQ candidate.
Patricia Tremblay is running again for Quebec Solidaire.
Orford MNA Pierre Reid at his investiture Monday morning.