Soulanges Liberals kick-off election campaign with new premises
PHOTOS BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois welcomed Hudson residents Anne and Mark Drake to their new electoral riding of Soulanges.
MNA Lucie Charlebois and the Soulanges Liberal Association Committee welcomed a crowd of 130 supporters, friends, family and media from across the region to an open house marking the inauguration of the Liberal constituency office located in Saint-Clet on Thursday, August 27.
“When we are involved in politics, we don’t do it alone,” said Charlebois as she thanked Soulanges municipal mayors for their support including Patrick Bousez, Prefect of the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette who attended the event. She expressed her appreciation for the continued encouragement of her family and the many volunteers that have sustained her throughout her political career.
Charlebois noted residents from the Town of Hudson were present.
“We now have 16 municipalities in Soulanges instead of 15,”she said referring to the changes since the 2014 election that now place Hudson in the Soulanges riding instead of Vaudreuil. In the first week of the campaign, Charlebois said she made a point of spending time meeting Hudson residents.
“I have represented Soulanges since 2003 and I intend to go back to the National Assembly in 2018 because you are supporting me,” said Charlebois as she began to outline the achievements of the Quebec Liberal government over the past four years.
Charlebois said Liberal fiscal management has resulted in a significantly improved credit rating for Quebec.
“Our goal is to make Quebec a good place for our families to live,” she told the crowd pointing out that since May 2014, economic growth had stimulated the creation of 214,600 jobs confirming the Liberals are on track to reach their target of 250,000 jobs in five years.
Hospital and healthcare
“If anyone tells you they can build the hospital sooner, they are not telling the truth,” said Charlebois regarding the recently announced construction of a 400-bed hospital in Vaudreuil-Soulanges. She emphasized the government has to abide by the laws that control major infrastructure projects in Quebec, the Loi sur les infrastructures publiques. Construction of the hospital is planned to begin in 2022 with a projected completion date sometime in 2026. Charlebois said the decree for expropriation of the land for the hospital had been issued and the necessary land zoning changes had been made.
She also noted more than 1 million Quebecers now have access to a family doctor and citizens can access 49 super-clinics that are open 12 hours per day, seven days a week. “We have announced the building of two of those super clinics in the Centre Intégré de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO) – the super-clinic in Vaudreuil-Dorion that’s been open since April 2018 and the Trois- Lacs super clinic that will open its doors in October 2018,” she said.
Locally, the Liberal government supported the recent construction of a new primary school in Saint-Lazare. They also announced a secondary school will be built in Saint-Zotique for the Commission Scolaire des Trois-Lacs and have added a kindergarten class for 4-year-olds living in the town. When asked if the Liberals were planning to make changes to the school board system, Charlebois replied they were not. “We are not going to abolish the school commissions but if there is something we see that needs to be improved, we will look at that,” she told The Journal.
As the evening unfolded in Saint-Clet, events were happening at a national and international level regarding the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations between Canada and the United States. One aspect of those negotiations concerns Canadian agriculture and dairy producers. When asked where her party stood on the issues, Charlebois replied they would defend Quebec farmers.
Currently, Charlebois is the Minister responsible for the Montérégie region, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and healthy Living, Vice-chair of the Conseil du trésor and Member of the Comité ministerial du développement social, educative et culturel. Since 2003, she has held many other governmental posts including Official Opposition Whip from September, 2012 to March, 2014.
“I am grateful to be part of the team that put Quebec back on track,” she said. “It’s incredible what can be done when we all work together.”