Pontiac’s new MP: Will Amos firm on voter reform, economic summit, infrastructure spending

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William Amos was elected as the Pontiac riding’s new MP, October 19.

Allyson Beauregard



William Amos was elected as the Pontiac riding’s new MP, October 19.

Allyson Beauregard

With just over 34,000 votes, representing 54.5% of the total vote, the Pontiac riding elected William Amos of Chelsea as their new Member of Parliament, October 19. Second was former MP Mathieu Ravignat (NDP) with 22.5% of votes and the Conservative’s Benjamin Woodman third with 13.9%.  The Bloc came a distant fourth, followed by Greens and others.
According to Amos, his landslide victory speaks for itself. “Voter turnout in the Pontiac was 71.9% – 3% higher than the national average and 12% higher than the 2011 election. (My) 34,000 votes set a record for the most votes cast for any party – by over 10,000. The Pontiac has spoken and its message was clear; they voted for our leader, our platform, for me, and they voted for the change
we represent,” elaborated Amos. He said he is looking forward to working with municipal and provincial leaders, community groups, aboriginal people, and local Chamber of Commerce, starting with an economic summit.
In terms of election promises, Amos said the
ball is in Prime Minister Trudeau’s hands. “We intend to honour our
promises, but I do not have an exact time frame,” he said. Although the Liberals were elected as a majority government, with just under 40% of the votes, Amos said his party is still committed to electoral reform. “We will be holding a forum where we will look at
various models, which
doesn’t necessarily mean
proportional representation will be the one chosen. Afterwards, we will propose legislation,” he elaborated. Initially, Amos said his party is committed to electoral reform within 18 months of election.
Economic summit
for Pontiac
Amos said his own first priority will be “to get organized, open our offices, and sit down at Parliament Hill … two or three weeks,” he said, adding that the next step will be to host an
“economic summit” in the Pontiac, bringing together elected municipal and provincial officials, business and community groups.
No infrastructure
 free-for-all
“We need to have a serious discussion about regional infrastructure priorities. It can’t just be municipality-by-municipality. It has to be strategic. We need to move beyond our back yard and start building our region,” he explained. The 2016 budget will include infrastructure funding. “The government can’t solve every problem,” he added, noting it will take time before Pontiacers see changes.
“There are no miracle turnarounds. If our regional decision-makers can get together and make good decisions around infrastructure, that will be an
important step,” he told the Journal. He has said the Liberals’ focus on green and new technologies could help Pontiac’s stalled economy.
The man who campaigned everywhere, said he will still be present throughout the Pontiac at community events and by opening an office in the western part of the riding, but he also expects the public to also do their part. “People can expect to see me regularly, but it’s a two way street. I expect people to come see me as well. If we’re going to achieve change, it’s going to take everybody … it’s not all on my shoulders,” he cautioned. “I am going to
do my best to honour the population’s mandates.”