Parti Québécois candidate Jolaine Paradis-Châteauneuf focuses campaign on health care
Article published on 25 August 2022
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The Parti Québécois (PQ) held an event yesterday (August 24) at the Bistro Mexicana in Gatineau, officially introducing their candidate for the riding of Pontiac, Jolaine Paradis-Châteauneuf. The event coincided with what would have been party founder René Lévesque’s 100th birthday.

This is quite a departure from their campaign in 2018, where their Pontiac candidate declined all interview requests and didn’t actively campaign. Paradis-Châteauneuf said that she would be taking time off from her role as a social worker with the CISSSO in Gatineau to actively campaign in the riding.

“By taking this leave, it’s because I want to invest myself fully in my campaign,” she said (translated). “I really want to go to people, to meet people in the field, that’s my number one priority, to really promote our program, whether in health, for the environment, for the elderly. So, I obviously really intend to go door to door, go to the events that are going to take place in September and also travel in the Pontiac territory, whether in Fort-Coulonge or Shawville, really meet people and listen to their concerns.”

She said that she chose the theme of health care for her campaign, and pointed to such issues as the closure of the obstetrics unit at the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville.

“For sure, my concerns are for health care. The Parti Québécois, really puts forward, we really want to give more care at home, to strengthen care at home,” she said (translated). “Then especially, especially also the obstetrics unit in the Pontiac at the Shawville Hospital, which closed. It is really quite unacceptable that pregnant women have to go to the hospital in Pembroke or Gatineau when they are about to give birth. It’s totally, I have no words to describe this situation, it’s a big break in service.”

At the meeting, there were three other PQ candidates for the Outaouais, as well as Bloc Québécois MP for Manicouagan, Marilène Gill. The Bloc politician said that even though the provincial branch of the movement hasn’t fared well recently in the polls, nothing is impossible in politics.

“Yes, well because in fact, when I arrived at the Bloc Québécois it was the moment when we said the Bloc Québécois was dead,” she said (translated). “There had been the orange wave in 2011, but I was in a riding where the NDP was, I had no money to campaign. I said it earlier, I found it funny and anecdotal but still it is very symbolic, I had 100 signs for 350,000 square km ... I was an activist first of all so, I obviously believed in ideas, I wasn’t a dummy candidate, I was a candidate who could speak, who could speak for people, I think that is what is needed first. We represent people first even if we are in a party, so for me it was important, and to campaign, not by telling myself that I was defeated either, by telling myself that I could win and that I was going to win.”

The full (French-language) conversation with Gill is available here.

The full (French-language) conversation with Paradis-Châteauneuf is available here.

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