By Kevin Woodhouse
While the voting trends in the riding of Jacques-Cartier tend to go overwhelmingly for the Liberal party, Louis-Charles Fortier is running as a candidate for the Conservative Party of Quebec and wants to offer voters a change.
“For the last 20 years, what exactly has the Liberal Party done for the riding besides raise taxes? What has changed in Jacques-Cartier since the 1990s?” Fortier told The Suburban.
“We want to give voters a better choice as opposed to having voters going in circles,” said Fortier. “We want to move forward and with the PQ vote all but collapsing, now is the time.”
Fortier works as a network architect for Bell Canada and was formerly the riding association president for the ADQ in Marquette seven years ago as well as working for the party as vice-president before joining Adrien Pouliot’s Conservative Party of Quebec.
One of Fortier’s concerns is the massive debt incurred by the province of Quebec and wants to help small to medium businesses while having the government get out of the job creation business entirely.
“When the government creates a job, it is an artificial one as money is taken from somewhere else while we want the government to enable small businesses to succeed in hiring and growing their businesses,” said Fortier.
Regarding education, the Conservative Party of Quebec wants to offer schools the choice to retain their school boards or strike out on their own, giving more power to front line services like teachers and giving principals more autonomy.
“School boards are a bit of a touchy subject in the West Island so we would never stop schools from starting their own,” said Fortier. “We want to use the European voucher style system where it is the parents who get to choose the school of their choice.
“We need to make sure that every Quebecer has the skill set to tackle their future because it is not up to the government to decide where a student has to go get educated,” Fortier said.
During his door to door visits, Fortier has been hearing about some local issues but “100 to one, people are concerned about health care.”
The party’s ideal would be to allow a private and public health care system, giving patients the choice of how they want to get their services. Hospitals would no longer be budgeted on a yearly basis but rather per patient so “that our system could be a health care and not sick care as hospitals and clinics would welcome patients.”
Fortier would also like to see a ranking and monitoring system to ensure hospitals and clinics are working to their potential.
During his encounters with constituents, he spoke to a family whose father had to wait seven months for treatment and could not work while waiting for the help.
He has been hearing that Jacques-Cartier voters are concerned about splitting the vote if they stay from their usual Liberal choice and Fortier noted that since political parties get funding per vote, “vote for us if you want real change in Jacques-Cartier because otherwise, nothing will change.”
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