Quebec sovereignty on voters' minds in Nelligan riding

Martin Coiteux (left) hopes to retain seat for the Liberals against the CAQ's Albert Bitton.
Shuyee Lee/CJAD

Voters in the West Island riding of Nelligan have six candidates to choose from in the April 7th Quebec election.

Even though it's been a Liberal lock for more than two decades.

Some voters CJAD 800 News spoke with at a Kirkland supermarket said they wish this campaign were about bread and butter issues.

"Healthcare, unemployment is pretty high, also education," said one Pierrefonds woman.

But one thing was on the mind of many.

"It's really important that we don't separate," said another woman from Pierrefonds.

During the 1995 sovereignty referendum:  nearly 82% voted no in this riding that includes Kirkland, the borough of Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève and part of the Pierrefonds–Roxboro borough.

It's an issue that prompted economist Martin Coiteux to run for the Quebec Liberal Party.

"I'm preoccupied. I think that we're going into the wrong direction and I think I can bring something from my expertise in economics to the Liberal team and to Quebec in general," Coiteux told CJAD 800 News.

The CAQ, which placed a distant second in the 2012 election, is trying its luck this time with business consultant Albert Bitton.

"What we can expect if the same parties get in, you're going to get the same thing you always got," Bitton said.

"The  Liberals have been there for ages and it's typically the same thing over and over and over."

Bitton said the economy and job creation would be boosted by their Projet St. Laurent that would help create research and development centres in cities bordering the St. Lawrence River.

Coiteux said the economy needs another kind of boost.

"We need the resources in public infrastructure spending," Coiteux said.

While Bitton and Coiteux are both stumping on the issue of the economy, voters are hoping it won't get overlooked by the issue of sovereignty or even the other white elephant in the room, the proposed secular Charter.

"Education, health, economy, infrastructure are important. Everything else is garbage whatever they're talking about," said a Kirkland woman.

The Parti Québécois, the Conservative Party of Quebec, the Green Party of Quebec and Option Nationale are also running candidates: Louis-David Bénard for the PQ, Trevor Pinto for the Quebec Conservatives, Charles Bourassa for the Greens and François Landry for Option. Outgoing Liberal MNA for Nelligan Yolande James announced in February she was not running again to spend more time with her family.

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  1. crj posted on 04/01/2014 07:13 AM
    This election is about separation, plain and simple. Voting for a "fringe" party at the expense of the Liberals will only benefit the PQ.
  2. François Landry posted on 04/01/2014 09:13 AM
    Good morning to all of whom will be reading this article.
    My name is François Landry and I'm running candidate for Option nationale in the nelligan riding.

    I see the media being concern about Québec's indépendance and not many actually have the guts to ask question to a candidate that is actually in favor of Québec's indépendance.

    Being the only candidate back from 2012 in the riding and historically the only indépendantiste candidate to be running two elections in a row in Nelligan, I was hoping for a better coverage.

    Ratgerm some prefer to talk about an invisible Qu.bec solidaire candidate of the fact that le parti Quebecois candidate doesn't not speak English.

    If CJAD wishes to remedy the situation, I'm all ears.
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