A Look Back at 2017

 Bernard Généreux, MP for Montmagny―L’Islet―Kamouraska―Rivière-du-Loup, takes a wide-ranging look back at the past year and provides some of the highlights.

New leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Andrew Scheer became Leader of the Conservative Party (CPC) in Toronto on May 27. Elected MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle in 2004, he succeeded Stephen Harper and will lead the party into the next election in fall 2019. On August 30, 2017, he gave Quebec MPs major responsibilities in the Official Opposition’s new shadow cabinet. As caucus president, Mr. Généreux ensured that the transitions went smoothly. The party served as a watchdog, calling out Finance Minister Bill Morneau for proposing potentially damaging tax changes affecting small businesses. The Conservatives also shed light on the many scandals involving the Finance Minister, whose integrity has been called into question after conflicts of interest were brought to light.

Legalization of cannabis
On November 27, Mr. Généreux tabled a petition certified by the clerks of the House of Commons calling for a moratorium on Bill C-45 legalizing cannabis. This petition with 9,600 names was presented to the MP on November 14 by the provincial president of the Cercles de fermières du Québec, Suzanne Duchesneau, from St-Pierre-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud. A telephone survey conducted in May by StratComTendances Inc. on behalf of Mr. Généreux found that 81.75% of the 2,575 respondents in the riding were against legalizing cannabis. The bill passed third reading anyway and is now in the hands of the Senate where it will be debated over the coming months. Joël Godin, MP for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, recently initiated an e-petition, E-1270, so Canadians can virtually sign a similar petition by January 16, 2018, at https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1270

Standing up for farmers
Mr. Généreux expressed strong support for keeping supply management when the issue was debated during the CPC leadership race. The MP believes that the Trudeau government should have expected dairy producers to be targeted by the Trump administration, which favours greater protectionism as part of NAFTA renegotiations. Mr. Généreux is continuing to work closely with dairy farmers and the Fédération de l’UPA du Bas-Saint-Laurent on coming up with solutions to the droughts in summer 2017.

Hundreds of constituents made use of passport clinics in spring and summer 2017. Appointments are available weekdays at the Rivière-du-Loup and Montmagny offices to fill out applications and have them looked over. The next clinics will take place in April 2018 in Rivière-du-Loup, Montmagny and St-Adalbert.

MP Appreciation Day
The very first MP Appreciation Day took place on Sunday, September 24, at the Campus et de la Cité Urban Park in Rivière-du-Loup. This all-ages event for the entire family will become an annual tradition and will take place in parks of different towns in the riding.

Cell phone service
While there are still a number of announcements to be made about the federal “Connect to Innovate” program, which will bring high-speed Internet to 300 rural and remote communities in Canada, the MP is continuing to talk with local service providers to make the best possible internet service available as quickly as possible to residents through improved wired or cellular internet service. Mr. Généreux also hopes that eligibility criteria for a new CRTC fund will be favourable to local realities.

Official languages
Before Raymond Théberge was tapped to be the next Commissioner of Official Languages, Mr. Généreux called out the Liberal government’s partisan attempts to appoint former provincial minister Madeleine Meilleur to succeed Graham Fraser. The MP also participated in a fact-finding mission this fall to the Maritimes to look at the realities facing francophone minority communities in a highly anglophone environment.

Community involvement
Mr. Généreux agreed to sponsor two events in 2017 for causes that are important to him: the President of the Kamouraska-L’Islet Chamber of Commerce’s tournament to promote local entrepreneurship, and the CHAIN OF LIFE challenge that took place in Côte-des-chats in St-Pacôme to educate young people about the importance of organ donation.

Canada 150
In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the MP created a medal for the mayors of the riding’s 58 municipalities and presented commemorative certificates to local 50+ clubs.

School visits
The MP has visited over a dozen primary and secondary schools and CEGEPs since January. The content for each visit is tailored to the students. He has given presentations on a number of topics, such as Canada’s parliamentary system, and current issues such as medical aid in dying and the legalization of cannabis.