On Saturday (June 25), Pontiac MNA André Fortin was officially invested as the candidate for the Liberal Party in this fall’s provincial election. The ceremony took place at the Quyon Community Centre. Fortin accused Premier Legault and his party of attacking those who don’t speak French at home.
“To the people of Pontiac, we are going to focus on their priorities,” he said (translated). “Today, we have a government that talks a lot, that speaks a lot of language, that attacks people whose language spoken at home is not French, for example, that has open bickering with Ottawa on the patriation of certain powers because it could lead to, it would be a threat in Quebec. They are ... introducing openly separatist candidates for a long time. So, they are far from the priorities of what Pontiacers share with me. Me, people talk to me about health, people talk about education, people talk about the economy. These are the messages on which I wanted to tell people back home that we are going to focus our campaign. These are the priorities that we will put forward. That’s what we’re going to talk about.”
Fortin, who is seeking his third term in office, pointed to the support he’s received from local elected officials, as well as his work on local files, such as the protection of lands around the Noire and Coulonge Rivers, which was recently announced by Environment Minister Benoit Charette.
“Well, it’s not not just me claiming that. There are many people who have moved to say it today,” he said (translated). “The warden, Jane Toller, was there. Several of the mayors of the riding came to show their support. I saw the mayor of Bristol, the mayor of Fort-Coulonge, the mayor of Mansfield, the mayor of Bryson and several others, I forget several. But, people who came because they believe that we are capable of working together, because we can move projects forward, because our teams work well together and because, together, we are capable of have a great vision for the region. I am someone who works in collaboration, whether in government or in opposition, I have always understood the importance of working with everyone. So that’s what allows us to move our files forward, to have great successes, as we saw last week, among other things, in the file of the protected territories around the Black River and of the Coulonge River.”
In the most recent election in 2018, Fortin obtained 53.9% of the vote, easily besting the CAQ candidate Olive Kamanyana, who received 20.4%.
The riding of Pontiac has elected Liberal members since 1970. The only exception in more than 100 years was Raymond Thomas Johnston of the Union Nationale (1948 to 1970).
The full (French-language) interview with Fortin is available here.