With the provincial elections approaching on October 3, political parties across Quebec are gearing up for campaign season, announcing candidates across the 125 ridings. In the Pontiac, there are currently four candidates that have announced their intention to run: incumbent André Fortin of the Liberals, Terrence Watters of the Conservatives, Pierre Cyr of the Greens, and Mike Owen Sebagenzi of Quebec Solidaire.
CHIP 101.9 spoke with Sebagenzi this week to talk about his party’s platform and his vision for the riding. Sebagenzi was born in the central African nation of Burundi in 1999, and his parents immigrated to Canada in 2001, settling in Aylmer in 2012. He is currently studying political science at the University of Sherbrooke, but returned to the region to get into politics.
He said that he chose Quebec Solidaire because they’re a party that has the best platform to address issues like climate change. When asked for his thoughts on the CAQ government’s track record over the past four years, he said that while they had delivered on some promises to their voting base, they had preyed on Quebecer’s fears and insecurities around issues like immigration, language and culture. He pointed directly to their language law overhaul, Bill 96, and its provisions that give new immigrants just a six month grace period before all their interactions with the government have to be conducted in French.
Quebec Solidaire is a left-wing sovereigntist party, advocating for a Quebec independent of Canada. When asked if he thought sovereignty was a popular issue in the Pontiac, Sebagenzi emphasized that while he and the party advocate for the position, the election on October 3 isn’t a referendum.
The full interview with Sebagenzi (12m35) is available below: