The riding of Outremont, which shares a borough with Milton-Parc, has gone without a representative in the House of Commons for nearly five months and will hold a by-election on Feb. 25. Former New Democrat Party (NDP) leader Tom Mulcair held the riding for almost a decade, but, months after being ousted as party leader, he stepped down in late August. On Jan. 21, accompanied by members of Conservative McGill and several Members of Parliament (MP) including Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, prospective candidate Jasmine Louras stepped forward as the party’s choice for Outremont. The event ended in celebration, with many MPs attending Conservative McGill’s Welcome Back Pub Night afterwards.
Louras’ rivals include Rachel Bendayan, who will be running for the second time under the Liberal banner, and Julia Sanchez for the NDP. Bendayan’s goals include increased environmental protection measures, support for small businesses, and social housing projects. Likewise, Sanchez’ campaign will focus on the environment, women’s rights, and inequality. Louras’ campaign team, meanwhile, predicts widespread Conservative support in Quebec; however, it is wary of resistance in Outremont, which has never elected a Conservative MP. Jonah Presser, Louras’ volunteer coordinator and director of the election process, expressed optimism for an oncoming ‘blue wave.’
“When I’m on the ground with the candidate and the team, we see that the Conservative movement [is] gaining traction,” Presser said.“People are dissatisfied with the current government, especially with Justin Trudeau.”
Presser also worked on Conservative MP Richard Martel’s campaign in Quebec this past summer. He believes Martel won because of the Conservative Party’s continuous effort to appeal specifically to Quebecers.
“Andrew Scheer [has] put a lot of effort into Quebec as a whole, we’ve had a speaking tour for the last six months [called] ‘À l’écoute des Québécois’ Presser said.
Scheer cited Martel’s success as a source for his confidence in the Conservative Party winning across Quebec during the Oct. federal election.
“We have already demonstrated this past summer, in Chicoutimi-La Fjord, that there is not one riding that the Conservatives cannot win,” Scheer said. “If we work hard, if we stay faithful to our principles, if we convey our positive messages to each voter, we can win any riding in Canada [….] We are currently forming the strongest Quebec Conservative team we’ve seen in recent history. [Louras] is a part of a new generation of Montreal Conservatives. [We] are the only federal party who respects provincial autonomy. It is a Conservative government that has acknowledged that Quebecers form a nation in the heart of Canada.”
Louras briefly thanked her team and reinforced the conviction that a ‘blue wave’ is will hit Quebec.
“We are going door to door, each and every day, we are talking to the residents of Outremont,” Louras said. “We are listening to [them], and we will win this time around. The blue wave has come.”
Louras grew up in the riding, and, according to Presser, she understands its socio-economic diversity very well.
“The riding of Outremont contains some of the poorest areas of Montreal, and also one of the richest [Upper Outremont],” Presser said. “She is aware of the diverse upbringing of [this] riding. She can bring [it] together and represent it properly.”
Most of the quotes in this article are translated from the original French. The original transcription is available upon request.