• James Armstrong

Federal Conservative Party announces candidate for Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding


PHOTO COURTESY KAREN COX

Originally from Pincourt, Karen Cox is running in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding under the Conservative Party of Canada banner in the upcoming federal election.

The leadership of the federal Conservative Party announced Tuesday, June 18 that Karen Cox would be their candidate for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding in the up-coming federal election on October 21.

“I’ve always been a Conservative. The party platform really resonates with my personal convictions,” Cox told The Journal. Everything from regional economic development to stable finances is an important factor for the region according to Cox.

“Having a balanced budget and reduced taxes are important to ensure financial stability for our children in the future,” she said, adding the party wants to have a minister specifically for Quebec economic development. With a commerce and administration background, Cox has played a role in the economic development of the region. She worked for five years as manager of the Service d’aide aux jeunes entrepreneurs of the Centre Local de Développement de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. “Unfortunately, under the Trudeau government, 80 per cent of people have experienced a tax increase,” she said. “For some people, they are living pay cheque to pay cheque. We want to eliminate the federal tax on hydroelectricity.”

Local business development

A native of Pincourt, Cox graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Administration degree with a minor in International Affairs. It was her involvement in student politics that motivated her to take the plunge at the federal level.

“At Concordia I was president of the John Molson School of Business Administration representing over 5000 students.” She said it was an opportunity to work with a wide variety of people including members of the university senate, the administration and students from across Canada.

“I’ve reached out to the local Economic Development Corporation,” said Cox. “At the moment, there are plans they are working on. They have started a consultation process.”

She was referring to the future hospital construction that would create many new jobs but the economic development process has to focus on small, medium, and large businesses.

“We can’t focus on the large companies and forget about the services and the mom-and-pop shops. They have to survive,” she said. “We need more work on transportation. It is really difficult to find employees because finding transportation is complicated,” she said pointing out it can mean having three or four vehicles per family. “It’s not good for the environment and it’s expensive.”

Environmental protection plan

Fluently bilingual in French and English and capable of carrying on a conversation in Spanish, Cox is keen to make certain young families and senior citizens have enough money to live comfortably.

“I’m against all tax increases and we need to eliminate the carbon tax,” she said. “It’s only helping multinational corporations.” She said the Conservative Party has a real plan to protect the environment.

“It’s based on green technology, not taxes, a cleaner, greener natural environment and taking the climate change fight global,” she said, referring to the environmental policy unveiled by Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer on Thursday, June 20. The Conservative goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting green technology, developing renewable fuels and putting green tax credits in place, according to Cox.

“The most important thing is that climate change is global,” she said. “We have to be involved beyond our borders.”

The export of Canadian-made clean technology and products are an important part of the Conservative’s plan to protect the environment. “We want to introduce tax measures to support green industries that we will export to other countries,” she added.

Connected to Vaudreuil-Soulanges

As an entrepreneur, Cox opened a successful restaurant in Saint–Sauveur. “That was on top of my job,” she said. Three years later, she decided to sell the restaurant when her daughter was born. As a divorced parent of three children, Cox currently lives in Terrebonne not far from the home of the children’s father.

“If I win the seat, I will have a decision to make,” she said, adding she has family and friends in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and continues to spend a great deal of time in the area.

“I will be in Hudson on Canada Day with my kids,” she said. She also plans to participate in the Montreal Pride Parade in August. “I’ve already booked my spot.”

Balancing the budget

“I do believe in balance,” said Cox, while recognizing other issues are also important such as economic development, seniors, young families and middle-income people. “This year, Trudeau is predicting the budget will be three times higher,” said Cox adding the Liberal promise of a balanced budget hadn’t been kept.

“This year it’s going to be $18 billion, not $6 billion and those who have looked into it are predicting $26.1 billion. That’s significant,” she said. “I come from a business background. Missing by 10 per cent, I could understand but not over 300 percent,” said Cox. “Basically we are mortgaging our children’s future. We need to make certain our future generations are self-sufficient.”

Social media influence

In terms of her election campaign, Cox said social media would play an important role. She has a Facebook page up and running and noted Instagram is popular with younger voters.

“Millennials pay attention to bloggers and influencers.” she said. “They trust them more than television and radio spots.” Cox also remarked on the need for brick-and-mortar retailers and other businesses to readjust their business models to reach a younger generation of consumers. She said traditional storefronts and businesses are making a comeback in the United States as they adjust to a rapidly changing market. Her hope is to encourage the same in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

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