Coalition Avenir Quebec: Brome-Missisquoi candidate Isabelle Charest

Pictured is Isabelle Charest standing behind a podium speaking at a conference in Brome-Missisquoi. She is wearing a black t-shirt with a black blazer.
CAQ candidate Isabelle Charest. Photo courtesy of Maryse Dubois.
Taylor McClure - CIDI - KnowltonQC | 27-09-2022
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Coalition Avenir Quebec: Brome-Missisquoi candidate Isabelle Charest

The Quebec provincial election is quickly making its way around the corner with voting day taking place on Monday, Oct. 3. 

According to the Élections Quebec website, there are ten candidates running in the Brome-Missisquoi region for this year’s election. 

These candidates are: Isabelle Charest (Coalition avenir Québec), Pierre Fontaine (Démocratie directe), Sébastien Houle (Indépendant), Alexandre Legault (Québec solidaire), Lynn Moore (Canadian Party of Québec), Caitlin Moynan (Green Party), Guillaume Paquet (Parti québécois), Stéphanie Prévost (Parti conservateur du Québec), Tommy Quirion-Bouchard (Climat Québec), and Claude Vadeboncoeur (Quebec Liberal Party). 

For the next week and half, CIDI 99.1 FM is sitting down with candidates who  will speak on their political platform and the issues they plan to address in the Brome-Missisquoi riding and at the provincial level.

CIDI sat down with Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) candidate Isabelle Charest who is hoping to get re-elected for another term after serving as the Member of National Assembly for Brome-Missisquoi, Minister of Sports, and Minister of Status of Women for the last four years. 

As a three time Olympic medalist, Charest explained that she entered politics to ensure that other people had the chance to accomplish their dreams and access to a healthy lifestyle. 

“Because I was lucky enough when I was younger to have opportunities to develop myself, to have access to my goals and dreams, that’s one thing I wanted to give back to the youth,” mentioned Charest. 

When she was elected four years ago, Charest said that her vision when taking on the role was to be there for the community on all fronts, something that she plans on continuing to pursue if re-elected. 

“My vision of the role was really to be there for the citizens, to be there for the organizations of the county, for the people who are in need, to be present, to be the source of information and the link between what was provided by the government to the citizens,” she emphasized. “My goal if I’m elected for the next four years is to maintain that proximity with the citizens.”

Charest’s platform initiatives include addressing issues within the health care system, access to water, access to nature, and improving cell-phone coverage for Brome-Missisquoi

“Of course we want to work on inflation and the cost of living because we have seen the big impact in (inflation) the Quebec families,” added Charest. 

A challenge for the Brome-Missisquoi riding, explained Charest, is pressure on its services with an influx of newcomers. 

Despite an increase in population, she noted that the region is still experiencing a labor shortage. 

“The newcomers don’t really translate in a new workforce. A lot of them came from Montreal or the big cities and kept their job because now they have access to work from home. So, we don’t have the big workforce that’s coming from the newcomers, but they put pressure on the services we provide,” explained Charest. 

As the current Minister of Sports, ensuring that Quebecers have access to sport programs, sport infrastructures, and sporting equipment is a top priority for Charest at the provincial level. 

“We announced the engagement we have to provide $1.5 billion to build sport infrastructures. This is really important for smaller communities because they often don’t have the financial resources to build those kind of infrastructures, but we know how important they are to maintain the population in their small communities,” she said.

As Quebec enters the election with language law Bill 96, Charest explained that it’s important that the French language is protected and that better communication is necessary. 

“We’re a very small community surrounded by English speakers, the United States, and the rest of Canada and we’ve seen with all the stats that we need to protect French,” she said. “One thing is for sure, is that we have to do that in respect of the Anglophone community and that’s why we have to better communicate what is in that law.” 

Listen to the full interview below: