With less than 10 days to go before the October 3 election in Quebec, the campaign continues to spin around immigration and how this apparently controversial subject impacts almost every other topic at issue. The party leaders, and in particular François Legault, continue to weave the arrival of newcomers to this province into discussions on housing, economic development, labour shortages, healthcare, language and integration, and perhaps most disturbingly into issues such as violence and national unity. Legault was forced to walk back comments he made linking violence and extremism to immigration, though they have snuck back into the discourse.
A heated campaign is also not the place for this discussion, even one that has seemed to be scraping the bottom of the populist barrel at times. We can hope that the local debate, which took place on September 20 in Saint-Chrysostome, has offered voters in the Huntingdon riding an opportunity to look beyond the issues grabbing national headlines.
Rural concerns in rural regions can so easily be trumped by broader priorities that may or may not be at the top of the list for locals. With this edition’s political coverage, The Gleaner has challenged the candidates to respond to questions highlighting certain local concerns. We hope their responses will help guide readers in making an informed decision come October 3.
As always, our most important civic responsibility – and the most effective way to participate in our democracy – is to go out and vote.