The Gleaner
Opinions

Looking ahead to fresh faces in the fall election

Huntingdon MNA Claire IsaBelle’s surprise announcement that she would not be seeking a second term as the local representative in the National Assembly brings the looming provincial election into much sharper focus. After dedicating over a decade of her life to what was once a fledgling party, IsaBelle’s has been a very familiar face in local politics as the Coalition Avenir Québec’s candidate for the past three elections.

The CAQ is widely predicted to walk away with an easy majority in this fall’s vote, but if Legault is to manage another sweeping victory, he will have to do so with several new faces on his roster. IsaBelle is the sixth MNA for the CAQ to step away from politics ahead of the next election, and of those, five are women.

A native of the Huntingdon riding, IsaBelle has had a steady presence in the region, and she and her team have worked hard to support this exceptionally vast and diverse area, through a pandemic to boot. The decision to relocate her satellite offices annually suggested a deeper understanding of the difference between the different municipalities she served, and this brought her closer to the people and the pressing issues we have faced over the past four years. Her departure leaves the door open for a new representative to step forward for the CAQ, and any challengers from the opposition parties looking to stage an upset at the polls.

The election will be fought over many important issues, such as the economy, healthcare, the environment, and, as always, language. The latter could move to centre stage with the arrival of the Canadian Party of Quebec, a new pro-bilingualism party touting a “progressive, rights-centred, and federalist” approach. Now is an important time locally as new faces begin to emerge. We need to be paying attention now, to ensure we continue to be so well represented in the future.

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