Today is the day voters in two provincial by-elections have their say. I spoke with Morgan Crockett, candidate for the Quebec Green Party in the Montreal North riding of Viau.
FTB: You’ve been involved in politics both at Dawson and most recently behind the scenes with Projet Montreal at the municipal level. What drew you to the Quebec provincial political arena and in particular the Green Party?
Crockett: Politics have always been my natural interest, whether it is student, municipal, provincial or federal. I have always felt the need to inform myself on issues that face my peers and stand in unity with them.
My interest in provincial politics definitely increased when student groups such as the Dawson Student Union began to organise against the planned tuition fee hike from the Liberal government and for universal post-secondary education. Even though the strike ended, it only seemed natural to continue to fight for the same and other issues in whatever way possible.
The Green Party is a very respectable party that allows me to change the national debate on many topics that are usually only between a few neoliberal parties. The Green Party is the only party in Québec that represents my interests in post-seconday education funding, environmental issues and social equality.
What do you think will be the biggest issues in the next province-wide election and when do you think that election will happen?
I think the biggest issue will be the Charter of Values. Many voters will be keeping in mind the position of all the major parties on the Charter of Values when it is time to go to the ballot box.
In the last election many people could not really tell the difference between the three main parties: they were all neoliberals under a different brand name. Now with the Charter of Values it has created at least some way of separating them.
And each party, even down to the smaller ones, have a different position on the proposed Charter, whether it be completely for it, against it or proposing a completely different piece of legislation with the same spirit of the original Charter.
Tell me a bit about Viau. What kind of riding is it and what concerns the people of Viau the most?
Viau is a very vibrant and diverse community with over half of the populations mother tongue being neither French or English, and about 45% were born outside of Canada. A particular concern would definitely be the Charter of Values which is a threat to such a diverse community to be able to grow and be accepted in Québec and their workplaces. Viau already has an unemployment rate which is well above (almost double) the Québec average.
What would you do as an MNA for the people of Viau and for the interests of the Green Party?
As the MNA for Viau, I would represent the people of Viau by out right opposing the Charter in the National Assembly and also working for a united Québec that invests in public transit, environmental legislation and for our rights.
* polls in Viau and Outremont are open until 8pm tonight, Monday December 9th. Voting info is available at monvote.qc.ca