• John Jantak

Québec Solidaire envisions English-speaking Quebecers as part of independence


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Québec Solidaire Vaudreuil riding candidate Igor Erchov spoke about his vision for the province during an interview with The Journal in Pincourt on September 18.

Québec Solidaire is the only party that takes the interests of all Quebecers, including Anglophones and Allophones to heart and their rights would be protected in an independent Quebec, said Vaudreuil riding candidate Igor Erchov.

He said there’s a big difference between separation like the Parti-Québécois is proposing and independence. “Quebec Solidaire sees independence as an opportunity for all people to be unified. We’re the only party that takes the interests of English-speaking residents to heart more than Ottawa does. Ottawa never put the rights of the English in Quebec in their constitution,” said Erchov.

English rights into law

“We want to rewrite the Quebec constitution. We want to let the English-speaking community and other cultural groups have their say and decide what they want included and put it to a general vote after that. It will be an incredible opportunity for everyone to unify and put their rights into law once and for all,” Erchov added.

He made the pronouncement during an interview with The Journal during in Pincourt on September 17. Erchov immigrated to Quebec from Russia with his family when he was 12 and has lived in Notre-Dame-de-l’île Perrot since 2004.

Erchov, 29, is a financial services consultant. He studied commerce at John Abbott College, human sciences at Université de Montréal and is currently enrolled in a post-graduate certificate program at Concordia University in business administration and management. This is his first election campaign.

Interests of people

“Québec Solidaire stands for everything I believe in. I was honoured when I was asked if I wanted to be a candidate. I want to represent something I truly believe in – a party that puts the interests of the people before anything else,” said Erchov.

“The traditional parties cannot give the people what they need. They have their own agendas. They promise a lot of things and keep only a small portion of their promises. Their solutions are always short term or they’re trying to put out the fires they created. We have everything we need to be extremely prosperous, but the political parties in power are slamming on the brakes. It doesn’t make sense,” he added.

Health care system

The state of the province’s health care system is foremost on Erchov’s mind. “We have a great system but we don’t have access to it. I have to go to Hawkesbury when I’m sick. Why do I have to go there? I live in Quebec. We’re so proud of the fact that we have so many social services. Why aren’t we able to have proper access to them?” asked Erchov.

He said many people have suffered in the past eight years waiting for a hospital and they’ll have to wait at least another eight years before it’s built. “What Québec Solidaire wants to do is have CLSCs open 24-hours a day, seven days a week until then. This will help everyone. We’re proud we have a free health care system. We should make it work,” he said.

Universal dental care

The party is also committed to providing universal dental care and free university tuition. One way Québec Solidaire would fund these programs would be to rescind the 32 per cent pay increase that specialized doctors received. “Some doctors receive $400,000 a year, yet I waited 10 years to get a family doctor,” said Erchov.

“Our budget when we begin our first mandate will be balanced because we know there is no deficit. We know we can implement free university education across the board. We’ve done the calculations. There is so much money in Quebec. Everyone says the province is poor. It’s a myth. We want change. It’s viable and it can happen,” said Erchov.

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