Article and Interview by Jason Setnyk
This is the second in a series of interviews with the candidates running in the October 19th Federal Election. The purpose of these interviews is to introduce you to the candidates and help you make an informed choice of who to elect as our Member of Parliament.
About Liberal Candidate Bernadette Clement: She was born and raised in Montreal and attended law school at the University of Ottawa. She’s been a lawyer with the Legal Clinic in Cornwall for 24 years and also serves as Deputy-Director. Bernadette is a Board Member of both the Counseling and Support Services Agency and the Kinsmen Community Residence. She was first elected to City Council in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014. As a councillor, she is on several committees, including the Committee seeing to the joint transfer of Federal waterfront properties to the City of Cornwall and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Five Questions with Liberal Candidate Bernadette Clement
1 – What makes you the best choice for our Member of Parliament? What is your most significant achievement in this community?
I’ve spoken to a lot of residents of SDSG, and they tell me they are tired of not feeling represented on Parliament Hill. They want a MP who will speak and fight for them in Ottawa, and someone who truly understands their constituents. They want someone who will listen to their concerns and get things done. I know that I can be that person.
2 – What is the most important Federal issue affecting people here in the riding of SDSG? How will your party address this issue?
Families are the backbone of our community, and we need to make it easier for parents to raise their children. The Harper Conservatives childcare program is both ineffective and non-tax deductible. The Conservatives are sending cheques to the richest in our society and are asking for most of it back at tax time. I believe that fairness is the best policy. The Liberal childcare plan gives more money to the families that need it, and less to millionaires, all while cutting the middle class tax rate by 7%. And our plan is tax deductible, so you keep the entirety of your cheque.
3. Why do you think Justin Trudeau is the best choice for Prime Minister?
No other party leader has equaled Justin Trudeau’s ability to connect with Canadians. All across the country, people are coming to his events not only to meet him and take selfies, but also to listen to him talk about the things that matter most to them. There’s a real sense of excitement and energy in the Liberal Party now that hadn’t existed for some time. Also, under Justin’s leadership, the party has been highly committed to creating policies based on evidence rather than ideology. Even in these early days of the campaign, our platform is by far the most substantive and responsible.
4 – What are your thoughts on Stephan Harper and Thomas Mulcair?
We’ve had 10 years of Stephen Harper’s government, and look at what he has to show for it: An economy that is moving in the wrong direction in almost every way; a laundry list of people in his inner circle, like Dean Del Mastro and Mike Duffy, who have committed serious ethical abuses; and an utter lack of national leadership in the fight against climate change.
Meanwhile, Thomas Mulcair has demonstrated a consistent lack of judgment as NDP leader. He wants to make it easier for Quebec to separate and drag Canadians into another round of constitutional debates.
Both Harper and Mulcair play the politics of fear and division, while Trudeau is working hard to unite Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
5 – How do you feel the Conservatives have handled the economy? What is the Liberal plan for the economy moving forward?
It’s no secret that the Canadian economy is doing poorly under Stephen Harper. The country is back in a recession and for the 8th year in a row there is a budget deficit. Furthermore, the Conservatives have mistreated Canada’s seniors by increasing the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and by neglecting the Canadian Pension Plan.
A Liberal government would work hard to get Canada’s economy back on track. In addition to cutting the middle class tax rate and helping out families, we are committed to investing in education and infrastructure. We will also return the age of eligibility for OAS back to 65 while working with the provinces to strengthen the CPP.
Thank you for this interview Bernadette Clement and the best of luck on October 19th.