• John Jantak

Liberal MNAs Charlebois and Nichols provide positive regional update


Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols (left) and Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois speak about the status of several regional files during a press conference at Charlebois’ regional office on Monday, June 27.

Provincial Liberal Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) Lucie Charlebois (Soulanges) and Marie-Claude Nichols (Vaudreuil) held an informal press conference at Charlebois’ riding office in St. Clet to provide an update regarding the status of various projects in the region on Monday, June 27.

The long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital remains a top priority for both MNAs with Charlebois, who is also the provincial Minister of Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living, saying the government is on track to have the project completed by 2022.

In the interim, the government has adopted a decree authorizing the establishment of a reserve for the construction of the hospital and hired eight new doctors in the region.

Another highlight was the announcement that efforts by the government to improve the financial situation of Quebec over the past two years resulted in the Standard and Poor’s rating agency to raise the province’s credit rating to positive from stable, the first time in 50 years that the province received a better rating than neighbouring Ontario, said Charlebois.

Both Charlebois and Nichols said the current government under Premier Philippe Couillard has pledged its commitment towards education by investing an additional $1.2 billion in the last provincial budget that will be spent over the next three years.

The additional money will add 900 new professional resource personnel for student services, enable the renovation of schools, provide kindergarten for four-year-olds in disadvantaged areas, and improve job prospects for students in colleges and universities by preparing them for the job market.

Charlebois said she is especially proud of the government’s program to provide financial assistance of up to $40,000 for families with a child or children with severe disabilities. “This is a program that changes lives. I’m very touched,” she said.

Local investments by the province include $339,750 for the renewal of water mains in St. Lazare, $1,458,350 for a fire station in Rigaud, $2,950,000 to renovate, expand and improve services at the Vaudreuil-Dorion library and $70,000 to restore the facade of Ste. Jeanne de Chantal church in Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot, one of the oldest rural churches in North America that was built around 1773.

Since many common files have a direct impact in both ridings, the two MNAs work together to ensure that as many people in the region as possible benefit from new government initiatives. “What has an impact in Vaudreuil will also have an impact in Soulanges and vice-versa,” said Charlebois.

“Vaudreuil-Soulanges citizens are represented in the National Assembly by two active MNAs who have the region at heart,” said Nichols. “We will continue to defend their interests as we did during the last parliamentary session.”

When asked whether the government’s austerity measures were hurting ordinary citizens, Charlebois said, “There is no austerity. When you say austerity, it’s like Greece where they have cut budgets. We haven’t cut budgets. We’re controlling spending. There’s a big difference.”

Charlebois added that during her visits to various Fête Nationale festivities in the region last week, the overall consensus amongst the people she spoke to was that they were generally pleased with the path the government has taken to reduce spending. “When people aren’t happy, they tell us,” she said. “They’re not shy. They know we represent the ridings.”