Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   
(Updated 8:30 a.m., April 25)
Stage is set for provincial race in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

By Jean-Marc Pacelli
The Orléans Star

All eyes will be on Glengarry-Prescott-Russell this spring as the Progressive Conservatives try to wrestle the riding from the ruling Liberals.

The PCs’ hopes rest on the shoulders of Amanda Simard, a 28-year-old Parliament Hill staffer who has served on the Russell Township council since December 2014.

Simard won the PC nomination by acclamation after her only opponent, Derek Duval, was disqualified by the party when a controversial video emerged showing him taking part in a variety of hijinks at a charity hockey tournament he helped organize.

Duval, who was disqualified just days before the nomination meeting, blamed disgraced former PC leader Patrick Brown for his last minute demise, claiming Simard was his hand-picked choice.

The move has had the effect of alienating a number of PC supporters in the riding who had supported Duval and were none too happy when his candidacy was disqualified. One of those supporters was Russell Mayor Pierre Leroux who immediately revoked his membership and is now running against Simard in the hope of succeeding outgoing Liberal incumbent Grant Crack who is stepping down after serving seven years as the MPP.

Leroux won a special election for mayor of Russell after the sudden death of his predecessor J.P. St. Pierre in 2014. A former volunteer firefighter, he opened a video and variety store in Embrun in 2001.

Upset over the shenanigans that led to Duval’s disqualification and Simard’s nomination, Leroux turned in his PC membership card.

“After what happened with Derek, I wrote to the party and told them to tear up my membership,” Leroux said.

Jump ahead three months and the Russell mayor now finds himself as the Liberals best hope to hold on to the riding after he was asked to put his name forward by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

One of Leroux’s biggest supporters is former Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Don Boudria.

“He is an excellent choice and I think he will make a great MPP,” says Boudria.

For his part, Leroux describes himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. As for his previous support of the PC party, he does not believe it will hurt him when residents go to the polls on June 7.

“If we are honest, no one thinks that the party is right all the time. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas,” says Leroux, adding that most people he meets hold the same position on the issues that he does.

Among the key local issues he plans to campaign on is the future widening of County Road 7/Hwy. 174 and the City of Ottawa’s use of the Prescott-Russell ambulance service. The situation often leaves Prescott-Russell without available ambulances for emergency calls.

The western boundary of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell runs along Trim Road and includes a large part of the former municipality of Cumberland including Cumberland Village, Navan and Sarsfield.

The riding has been held by the Liberals since 1981. The last Conservative to hold the riding was Joseph Belanger who was a member of the Bill Davis government from 1967 to 1981.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   
   

 




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