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Q&A with Jean-Claude Poissant, Quebec Liberal Party

Jean-Claude Poissant

Born and raised in Saint-Philippe in the beautiful region of Montérégie, Jean-Claude Poissant has been involved in dairy farming since 1981. Former federal member of Parliament for the Liberal Party of Canada in the riding of La Prairie (2015-2019), Poissantserved as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food. He was also municipal councilor of Saint-Philippe (2009-2015.) Poissant has vast experience in agriculture leadership; he served as producer-ambassador for the Québec Federation of Dairy Producers, as director of the local Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA) for over twenty years, as president of the Agriculture Society of La Prairie, as well as a board member of the Coopérative de Solidarité Télécom of Saint-Mathieu.

 

What would you do to improve or guarantee the availability of proximity healthcare services for rural communities?

With an aging population and increase in prevalence of chronic illnesses, we need to prioritize real patient care approach; that is why we are committed to offering a family physician to all Quebecers who want one. We will aim to increase the number of healthcare access teams to reach a total of 400 across Quebec, including rural communities. We will also work to ensure that 100 of them are superclinics open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. With over 1.75 million people in Québec aged 65 and up, we at the QLP believe that the best seniors’ home is their own home. Quebec must therefore give them more means to age well at home. To do this, we are committed to introduce a seniors’ benefit of $2,000 per year to support each person aged 70 and up who wants to remain in their own home; deploy home intensive care units in all of Quebec’s regions; and provide better funding for community organizations that work with seniors in their own homes.

 

How would you help farmers and farming communities contribute to the fight against climate change?

Farming isn’t just a profession; it is a calling. One must juggle fierce international competition, acquisition of cutting-edge technological tools, research and development of new procedures to facilitate greener agriculture and collaboration to implement environmental protection measures, etc. These challenges can weigh heavily on producers. We therefore have a duty to ensure that they have every possible means of contributing to the fight against climate change.

Innovation and audacity are key words when it comes to envisioning an agriculture that is stronger and greener in the future. All stakeholders can contribute, and a Liberal government will stimulate the economy by supporting innovation among companies who make respecting the planet’s capabilities a priority. To achieve this, we will develop a circular economy strategy that will support farmers in their transformation towards greener, pesticide-limited agriculture, and establish a one-stop-shop for adapting to rapidly changing regulations.

 

What would you do to ensure the constitutional rights of ethnic and linguistic minority populations?

Our objective is equality of opportunity for all. The responsibility for achieving that falls to us collectively and calls on us to offer adequate protections.

The accumulation of racial profiling cases among people of diverse ethnocultural origins has led to a collective consciousness about systemic racism. It is important that we correct these situations; we are therefore committed to presenting a clear action plan to fight systemic racism in the first year of our mandate.

The French language is at the very heart of Quebec’s specificity and its protection is important; however, it does not mean disavowing the rights of English-speaking communities. We wholeheartedly defend their rights and institutions. That is why we defended their right to maintain the structure of school boards and will continue to do so. It is also why we are opposed to Bill 96, reforms to the charter of the French language, which was too far-reaching to be considered constructive.

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