Lo­cal Deputy op­ti­mistic as ever

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Or­ford

The Que­bec Na­tional As­sem­bly re­sumed sit­ting, last week, af­ter the win­ter break. In at­ten­dance for the thirteenth year in a row, even when the Que­bec Lib­er­als weren’t in power, was Or­ford deputy Pierre Reid.

In an in-depth in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal, Mr. Reid first spoke about his govern­ment’s new Cab­i­net. “I’m very happy that we have a new Min­is­ter in the re­gion. Luc Fortin is young but he is a very good politi­cian with lots of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the of­fice of Jean Charest, so he has a lot of con­tacts in most min­istries,” com­mented Mr. Reid who ad­mit­ted that he was not ex­pect­ing or hop­ing for a nom­i­na­tion him­self. “My son is eight years old now so I wasn’t look­ing for that; ei­ther my son or the rid­ing would suf­fer.”

“I think the em­pha­sis has been put on the econ­omy. Two strong, in­tel­li­gent women have been named as Min­is­ters, Lise The­ri­ault and Do­minique Anglade. Ms. The­ri­ault knows the needs of small and medium sized busi­nesses and there are lots of those in our area. They both un­der­stand what’s go­ing on in our re­gion, that our econ­omy is chang­ing. The kinds of jobs we had in Stanstead and Ma­gog be­fore are now in Mex­ico and we have a mix of in­dus­try now. Tech­nol­ogy busi­nesses are grow­ing fast. More than thirty busi­nesses came to Ma­gog in the last year. There are three hun­dred new peo­ple work­ing in tech­nol­ogy there, and if we can at­tract that num­ber of peo­ple they will buy gro­ceries, houses, other things, and that will bring jobs to ev­ery­one,” said Mr. Reid.

The Or­ford deputy con­tin­ued en­thu­si­as­ti­cally about the idea of a ‘tech­nol­ogy clus­ter’ in the re­gion. “There is talk in Que­bec about fund­ing new projects, cre­at­ing in­cu­ba­tors. Ma­gog Technopole is al­ready suc­cess­ful.” Mr. Reid came out in favour of the con­struc­tion of a new build­ing for Ma­gog Technopole, whose man­date is to cre­ate a vi­brant ICT com­mu­nity, at the site of the Mai­son Tourigny. “Af­ter all the stud­ies done on this build­ing it was clear that the govern­ment would not put money into it. The space that will be freed up will al­low for a new build­ing which will be an ‘in­cu­ba­tor’ of tech­nol­ogy busi­nesses. You need a big space for this; hav­ing ICT busi­nesses all to­gether creates in­no­va­tion. That’s how Sil­i­con Val­ley was built.”

Look­ing back over 2015, Mr. Reid com­mented: “2015 was a good year. It was like build­ing the base­ment of what the econ­omy will be, and it’s work­ing.” Com­ing up in 2016, the lo­cal econ­omy will be Mr. Reid’s first con­cern. “I also made a com­mit­ment to de­velop a bet­ter ap­pre­ci­a­tion of all her­itage build­ings, like the Mai­son Merry and the Colby-Cur­tis Mu­seum in Stanstead. There are also con­cerns in the English com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing the schools, and I will try to be present when rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the English com­mu­nity come to Que­bec to talk about the pro­ject of school board re­form.”

“Rachel Hunt­ing, of the Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, has con­cerns about ser­vices for English­s­peak­ing youth in the re­gion. Karine Val­lieres is now the Par­lia­men­tary As­sis­tant to the Premier for youth, so I asked her to talk with Rachel Hunt­ing and see if we re­ally have what is needed to help English youth find jobs,” he added.

The sell­ing of home ren­o­va­tions re­tailer Rona to U.S. re­tailer Lowe’s was de­bated last week at the Na­tional As­sem­bly. “Some peo­ple won­der if the new own­ers would con­tinue to buy from Cana­dian busi­nesses. If we want to com­pete with In­dia and China, we must have qual­ity goods. We’re not that good at mar­ket­ing Que­bec prod­ucts but we have qual­ity prod­ucts. If the Lowe’s deal goes through, we would have a big­ger mar­ket for Que­bec prod­ucts. We may need to pro­vide help for growth,” said the deputy.

“There’s lots of change go­ing on now re­gard­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. Be­cause of the new Prime Min­is­ter who has agreed to some in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments, there will be new strate­gies, new laws. There used to be lots of ag­gres­sive dis­cus­sions with the pre­vi­ous govern­ment but now ev­ery­one is co­op­er­at­ing; we all have the same ba­sic ob­jec­tives and goals.”

Mr. Reid still seems to be en­joy­ing his role as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the re­gion. “The best part of my job hap­pens right here in the rid­ing, where I live and where I hope my son will live when he is older.”

photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Or­ford Deputy Pierre Reid knows the rid­ing well af­ter thir­teen years as its rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Que­bec.

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