By Robert Frank
“All the candidates in last week’s mayoral debate were saying ‘I’m more honest than you’, but you only have to look at what they have done in the past to tell whether they are the honest people who they claim to be,” observed Marc-Aurèle Racicot.
Racicot, an independent candidate for mayor was, like opponent Jacques Foucher (see accompanying report), excluded from two election debates held last week by Radio-Canada and the Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“What they didn’t talk about was taxes, public safety, how to improve the lot of Laval’s senior citizens, and the state of the city’s infrastructure,” he observed. “With all the corruption that went on, we need to make sure our infrastructure is safe.”
“Taxes are going up. Old people can’t afford to pay the taxes on their homes, even if their mortgage is paid up,” Racicot continued. “We have to go back to basics: Nice streets. Sidewalks safe for children and the elderly. Clean water and efficient sewage systems. No one said anything about that.”
He deplored political party leaders who, to get elected, have led the public to believe that the state should do everything for them.
“They want to gain power by promising to intervene more,” Racicot said.
“We need to shift the focus back to the individual and away from the machinery of state,” he countered. “It’s costly and, in the end, it accomplishes nothing. The bigger the state, the more corruption will occur. When politicians are spending someone else’s money, they develop a sense of entitlement.”
“I prefer to say don’t ask what the city administration can do for you, ask what you can do for your city,” Racicot quipped, paraphrasing John F. Kennedy.
He criticized Mouvement lavallois opponent Marc Demers, for being self-righteous during the mayoral candidates’ debates.
“He hasn’t lived in Laval for the requisite 12 months before the election, so how can he say that the law applies to everyone,” Racicot questioned. “If you say you are for law-and-order, then you have to abide by the law and live by the rules.”
Racicot echoed opponent Jean-Claude Gobé (Action Laval), who accused Demers of having lobbied the Quebec government in the lead up to the election to reduce the residency requirement for municipal candidates from 12 months to six months.
“You have to walk the talk,” Racicot concluded. “I do. That’s why I’m running a simple campaign.
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