Jonathan Carreiro-Benoit – Bloc Québécois

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Added: Wed, 09/25/2019 - 10:16pm
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François Carrier
(tr. AB)

Jonathan Carreiro-Benoit, a political science student, said he is running in the upcoming election out of curiousity. “I wanted to know what it’s like to be a candidate on the federal scene and for me, the Bloc Québécois reflects my values and Quebec's aspirations,” he explained. His baptism into active politics took place last year when he represented the Parti Québécois in the Gatineau riding.
Without hesitation, Carreiro-Benoit said his priority for the MRC Pontiac is the economy and the development of small and medium businesses. “My first priority is to develop small and medium businesses in the rural areas of the riding, which will require better internet and cellular networks because these are essential for entrepreneurs,” said the candidate. “I think our history and heritage have shown us how important the forest industry is in our country. We have to find a way to enhance it again,” he added.  
The Bloc Québécois believes Quebec's independence is essential to its political, economic, environmental, social and cultural development and this position is inherent in many of Carreiro-Benoit’s statements and beliefs. “When thinking of small and medium businesses, agricultural businesses immediately come to mind. We are demanding significant compensation for Quebec’s dairy producers following the most recent federal government trade agreements,” explained Carreiro-Benoit, whose party is asking for $3.8 billion in compensation.
Regarding Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ Near Surface Disposal Facility project in Chalk River, Carreiro-Benoit believes there should be no further developments on the file. “I see no advantage in this project and the Bloc believes all energy investments should be made in green and renewable energy. This project should
be aborted,” he told the Journal. According to him, Quebeckers deserve to have the last word when it comes to projects that affect the province’s environment.
“To attract youth, it takes quality jobs and I think that in our more rural areas, it will depend on [supporting] our small and medium businesses,” Carreiro-Benoit reaffirmed, noting education must also be more accessible in the different areas of the riding. “Even if it’s a provincial jurisdiction, I think we should encourage the development of regional campuses. I can envision a UQO campus in the Pontiac,” he said. The Bloc also wants to modify the first-time homebuyer assistance program to make it easier to buy an existing home in the same way as a new one.
The candidate also discussed tax issues and tax havens. “We must attack tax havens and use all means to investigate and repatriate this money, which could then be invested in our social programs,” he noted. According to Carreiro-Benoit, another issue that affects the region concerns hydroelectric utilities in Ontario and Quebec. “Ottawa excludes Hydro One's profits from natural resource revenues
in Ontario because it does not produce electricity, but includes those of Hydro-Québec Distribution in Quebec even though it doesn’t produce more. This injustice costs Quebeckers more than $330 million a year. We want the federal government to commit to being fair on this issue,” he explained. 
The Bloc Québécois is in favour of reforming the voting system while ensuring Quebec keeps its proportion of political representatives in Ottawa. “When we say that Quebec is us, it's not just a slogan. We are the only ones who are really able to defend the aspirations of the people here,” explained Carreiro-Benoit.
Carreiro-Benoit sees his party as an opposition force. “The Bloc is really the defender of Quebec values and what Quebec decides to be. I’m thinking of the secularism act, among other things. By voting for the Bloc, you are choosing to vote for Quebec, and we will make sure we have a voice on the federal scene,” he concluded.