Busy Friday. I thought I’d drop in and do a resto review for Spinners and ended up bumping into our area’s Hardest working politician, MPP Jim Brownell, and Federal Liberal Candidate and Cornwall City Councilor Bernadette Clément. Ms Clément, on her way to work as a long time Public Defender here in Cornwall, took a few moments from her busy schedule to chat.
Work on her campaign has already started for the first time candidate and it’s daunting. I personally wonder why anyone would run in politics as it’s such a brutal task that most people don’t appreciate.
Ms Clément spoke about how her life has already started to change with people stopping her in the street ( a few stopped to offer words of encouragement while she had her breakfast) and how you have to give up personal time with your family.
We also spoke about the challenges she faces trying to get the word out about her campaign and communicate to the over 70,000 voters in our riding what she’s about.
We briefly hit on a few subjects:
The Economy locally – Bernadette spoke about how diverse this riding is with both an urban area and the rural and agricultural engines and how important they are. She’s heard that farmers are concerned about their legacies and about being able to see their children be able to survive on their farms after they pass them on. She also spoke about how important it was to the future of the riding for people to be able to find viable jobs locally instead of leaving. Small business she felt was a big key to making things grow in SD&G.
Youth – This is something that is one of her big concerns. She stated that we need to create a political landscape that allows Youth to participate and feel enfranchised to work for “their” future. One of her biggest challenges will be to find ways to engage them and get them involved not only in this campaign, but in City and provincial politics. Ms Clément felt that the growing industry of the Arts in this area could be one place to build on; that people would be surprised by how many practice one form of Art or another; especially with the cultural diversity of this riding.
Speaking of Cultural Diversity it was something that she felt was also a huge part of this riding’s future. She said that better understanding was needed in dealing with Akwesasne as she sees it as part of this riding’s future development.
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