Clement opens up shop across from Lauzon

CORNWALL, Ontario – Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement officially opened her campaign headquarters on Thursday in Cornwall, as the federal election gears up after Labour Day.

The three-term Cornwall City Coun. was welcomed by cheers and a sea of red at the Pitt Street location – conveniently across the road from four-term incumbent Conservative SDSG MP Guy Lauzon’s office.

“I am running because I want to be your champion,” Clement told a crowd of 100. “When I moved here 24 years ago, this community embraced me. This is my heart and my home – I am very proud to say I live here. If you elect me to Ottawa, I will bring all the people of SDSG with me. I will serve them with the same devotion, determination, skill and compassion that I have put to my work as a legal clinic lawyer and as a member of municipal government.”

She ran, and lost, in 2011 to Lauzon by about 21,000 votes, and nudged out NDP candidate Mario Leclerc for second place by less than 200 votes.

Clement addressed those who have voted for the Liberal Party in the past, reminding the crowd of previous accomplishments, like making health care a fundamental right, the Canada Pension Plan, balanced budgets, and a reputation as a compassionate and caring leadership.

“It’s time to vote Liberal again…It’s time to make things work again,” she said.

Clement says her knowledge of and experience in local municipal government will make her a more informed and effective MP for the riding, especially when it comes to infrastructure needs.

“Cornwall and area has a lot of very old structures that are giving out,” she said. “Highway 138, our economic and often our health care lifeline is inadequate to the usage of today. Adding four lanes at various intervals would improve safety and efficiency and benefit the economy of Cornwall while lowering the tax burden of homeowners.”

Clement criticized Lauzon’s lack of representing the interests of his constituents, notably on two major issues: the closure of the port of entry on Cornwall Island and the chemical tank installed along Cornwall’s waterfront.

“The role of an MP is not the be the mouthpiece of the political party, the messenger of Ottawa. That’s what we’ve had for far too long. The role of a real MP is to be the voice of the people, the messenger of the riding to Ottawa,” she said.

“Let me assure you, that if Bernadette Clement is your MP, and Justin Trudeau our prime minister, cabinet ministers will pay attention to SDSG,” Clement added.

Other hopefuls vying for Lauzon’s seat in the Oct. 19th federal election are NDP candidate Patrick Burger and Green Party candidate Elaine Kennedy.

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