William Amos elected to second term

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Added: Wed, 11/06/2019 - 11:02am
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Allyson Beauregard

On Election Day, October 21, 49% of eligible Pontiac voters elected Liberal incumbent William Amos to a second term representing the Pontiac riding in the House of Commons. In second place came David Blackburn, Conservative, with 17% of the vote; Jonathan Carreiro-Benoit was third with 16%; and the NDP’s Denise Giroux came fourth with 10%.
In total, 66.46% (69,915) of Pontiac’s 91,656 eligible voters cast a ballot, down from 2015’s 71.8%. The party showing the most improvement in the Pontiac riding was the Bloc, up 9.1% from 2015.
Nationally, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won a minority government, followed by Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. About 65.95% of eligible Canadian voters cast a ballot, down slightly from 68.3% in 2015.  
The following is a breakdown of the Pontiac riding’s results: Amos obtained 29,759 votes (49%), down from 54.5% in 2015; Blackburn received 10,298 votes (17%), up from the 13.9% Benjamin Woodman collected in 2015;
With 9,851 votes (16%) for Carreiro-Benoit, it represented a drastic increase from the 6.9% Bloc candidate Nicolas Lepage received in 2015;
Giroux obtained 6,364 votes (10%), down from Mathieu Ravignat’s 22.5% in 2015;
The Green Party, headed by Claude Bertrand this year, also saw a fairly large increase in votes, from 1.7% in 2015 to 6% (3,631) this year. Colin Griffiths was Pontiac’s Green candidate in 2015; Mario Belec (People’s Party) garnered 764 votes (1.2%), Shawn Stewart (Veteran’s Coalition) collected 197 and Louis Lang (Marxist-Leninist) got 51.
Amos speaks
Amos’ first task is to reach out to all mayors and wardens so they can continue “building on their constructive collaboration”, advancing and bringing forward projects, particularly those related to high-speed internet.
“A series of projects have already been financed and will be put in place before 2021, but we need to bring forward more new projects because those financed won’t cover [everyone],” he explained, noting he is most proud of  his work advocating for better rural high speed during his last term. Amos believes his
unanimously adopted private member’s bill, M-208, was partially responsible for the increased federal investment in rural internet connectivity in the last budget. 
“People haven’t felt the results yet because the projects are still in the pipe, but M-208 is a good example of the kind of political behavior or representation I provided that worked across party lines and was multi-partisan. I worked to get that support and that’s what I’ll keep doing,” he told the Journal, noting it’s essential that he continue to work with other parties given the new minority government.
One of Amos’ other priorities is recovering from the 2019 floods by working with mayors and Pontiac MNA André Fortin to address damaged municipal infrastructure.
Affordability remains the key issue for residents across all demographics, says Amos, and the Liberals issued a number of campaign commitments that will have “immediate term” impacts on Pontiac constituents: boosting old age security by 10% for those 75 and older; increasing the basic personal income tax
exemption to $15,000; and making maternity and paternity benefits federal tax free. 
“Many Pontiac resident live on lower incomes and anything we can do to boost [their bottom line] is what we want to work on,” he added.
This term, Amos hopes to do better at bridging the divide between rural and urban
constituents by building a bigger appreciation for their complementarity. “We sometimes don’t recognize how a strong Ottawa/Gatineau helps our rural area, and likewise, probably the more challenging task is to help urban
constituents and politicians appreciate how important it is for rural Pontiac to succeed in order for the National Capital region to succeed. I want to help people recognize how we’re all connected and our success is linked. I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface,” he said.
During the campaign, Amos said constituents made it clear they are concerned about the environment and favour more aggressive climate action measures.
“I’ll work to ensure climate action is front and center of the government’s agenda,” he concluded.