Reid will privilege tourism, Goguen agriculture, others quietly campaigning
In an election when every vote counts and with the incumbent Liberals in a major vote deficit in most ridings outside of Montreal and the Gatineau, our own Sherbrooke M.N.A. and Premier, Jean Charest, trailing his PQ rival by 15 points according to a survey in last Friday’s La
Tribune, it’s no surprise that candidates are trying to meet as many voters as they can. PQ candidate Michel Breton was in town last week to replace the signs put up by mistake earlier in the cam- Saint-François Liberal candidate Nathalie Goguen listening to Environment Minister Pierre Arcand at the Beaulieu Farm yesterday.
paign, the standard fare, meeting unannounced with constituents for breakfast, etc., not seen in a while in Stanstead, taken for granted as a Liberal stronghold, for a PQ candidate. But this year, with the PQ riding alone with the francophone vote everywhere in Quebec, a foray into towns considered hopeless before may bring a crucial vote or two on September 4th.
Incumbent Pierre Reid is holding a weekly press conference every Friday. At the last one he told the assembled reporters that in his next mandate he would make the Orford region a prime tourist destination for outside visitors, all the while trying to reintegrate the older displaced workers in the workforce. “Even if people do not have a high school diploma doesn’t mean that they do not have the necessary experience to be highly productive after having worked decades.” This reinsertion of older workers, lacking academic skills, has been a surprising battle horse for a man who has an impressive academic career, including studies in Paris and a stint as the rector of the Université de
Shebrooke. He took to the cause a couple of years ago and he admits that it was not an easy task convincing his colleagues in cabinet to adjust the rules so that the workers can apply for government jobs. “As for the private sector, the moment that they have the experience, most employers are happy to recruit them if it fits their needs.”
Trying to replace Mrs. Monique Gagnon-Tremblay and facing the expected minister of health if the PQ is elected seems to be a harder task for Liberal candidate Nathalie Goguen. She was present in the leader bus last week and yesterday when Environment Minister Pierre Arcand came to the Beaulieu Farm, in Lennoxville, to announce a technical modification to the Income Tax Act that will raise the capital gains tax on farm transfers to a million dollars. It has been at $750,000 for a couple of years, so it will merrily cover inflation. When asked why the measure is not extended for all family transfers and limited to the agricultural sector, the minister gave the standard “all parties” answer on the almost bucolic aspect of the agribusiness, Mrs. Goguen repeating it, inserting the Coaticook word in her answer. Mr. Arcand had to find an answer to the electric car users who will be buying their power at Hydro-Québec rates. Gas prices right now include a huge amount of taxes earmarked for roads construction and maintenance while electric ones don’t. “We want to wean Quebeckers from petroleum and its greenhouse gases,” he answered, forgetting that the Quebec government is looking to the Anticosti petroleum finds to wean us from foreign