Liberals to select L’Écuyer’s replacement

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L. Robillard-Cardinal & F. Ryan


L. Robillard-Cardinal & F. Ryan

OUTAOUAIS – Pontiac-Aylmer’s MNA Liberal Charlotte L’Écuyer is retiring, and the party will pick a new candidate within a month. Although no provincial election is in sight, it could happen suddenly since the existing PQ government is in a minority position. So far, potential candidates are testing the waters, measuring support, and selling memberships, since only party members can vote for the party candidate. Actual candidates have not stepped forward, but several sources confirmed that Claude Poirier and André Fortin are in the running.
Poirier is an entrepreneur who worked for L’Écuyer in the past in her Aylmer office. Fortin is the previous president of the Pontiac Liberal Association; he recently resigned to run, and Kevin Bosch stepped in as interim president. Aylmer’s Ward 2 Councillor and present candidate, André Laframboise, has in the past signalled his interest in running. Ward 3 Councillor and current candidate there, Alain Riel, told the media he is not running because he wants to focus on his next term on city council, if re-elected.
Traditionally, the urban (Aylmer) and rural zones of the riding have alternated in representing the party; L’Écuyer is from Bryson, so most observers expect an urban Aylmer candidate next. However, there are several names in the running from the rural zone. Eddie McCann, Mayor of Pontiac, has been interested in moving to the provincial arena for years, but unconfirmed rumours are that he is endorsing another candidate. Likewise, the Director-General of MRC Pontiac, Rémi Bertrand, has seen his name discussed as a potential candidate.
Since the Pontiac riding is a near-guaranteed seat for the Liberals, the Montreal party office is said to be watching this race carefully; Montreal is also rumoured to be considering suggesting a “high profile” candidate, also un-named.