Lac Saint Louis Conservatives role out red carpet for Maxime Bernier

Lac Saint Louis Conservatives role out red carpet for Maxime Bernier

By Ian Howarth, August 22nd, 2012


Federal MP and Minister of State for Small Businesses and Tourism Maxime Bernier was the star attraction at a Lac Saint Louis Conservative Party Association fundraiser held at the Beaconsfield Golf Club last Monday.
The $80-a-plate fundraiser was attended by the who’s who of local West Island Conservatives including three senators, Larry Smith, Pierre-Claude Nolin and Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu. The 49-year-old Bernier, MP for the Beauce since 2006, was affirming the Conservative Party’s business-friendly politics. “The Conservative Party believes in people, not big, fat government,” he said. “We’ve had too much government on our back. We want fewer irritations for businesses, more freedom in Canada without taxation.”
The Lac Saint Louis Conservative Association has about 250 members and Bernier’s appearance was designed to raise the riding association’s profile. “We need to explain Conservative values to people,” said Bernier, when asked what association members could do before the next federal election in 2015. “Speak with compassion and honesty,” he urged. “Be more present in the media and the riding. We have a big challenge in Quebec. We need more Conservative MPs from Quebec in the next election,” he said, offering his help in any future campaigns. The Conservative Party of Canada has four Quebec MPs, down from 10 after the 2008 election.
Lac Saint Louis Conservative riding association president Peter Fletcher preferred to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. “The Liberals are down from 74 percent of the vote in Lac Saint Louis in 2000, to 34 percent in 2011,” said Fletcher, who stepped aside to let Senator Larry Smith — who finished third — run in the 2011 federal election. “The Conservatives have climbed from seven percent to 28 percent in the same period of time. There is no Conservative representation on the island of Montreal.  I think we’ll have a better shot next time. I think we can win the riding.”
The Lac Saint Louis Conservative riding has six West Island city councillors on its executive and board of directors, a list that includes Fletcher, who is on the Baie d’Urfé council, Michel Gibson from Kirkland and Pointe Claire’s Jacques Labbé. “Having Maxime Bernier here definitely helps increase our visibility and hopefully our membership as well,” said Fletcher.
Bernier is on a whirlwind tour of Quebec, taking advantage of the summer House of Commons break on a kind of working vacation.  “These visits are a kind of morale booster for riding associations,” he said in a post-speech interview. “The more I get around the more people understand our message.” The current Quebec election campaign was an out-of-bounds topic for Bernier, but he nonetheless made his intentions clear. “As a federalist, I would vote federalist,” he said.n

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Lac Saint Louis Conservatives role out red carpet for Maxime Bernier