February 21st, 2019
February 21st, 2019
"It is with a heavy heart, and after months of careful consideration, that I announce today my intention to not seek a third mandate in the next federal election. I know that to represent this riding well requires a lot of time and energy, since issues are many and complex. I will be 64 years old at the time of the next federal election, and I no longer have the same energy I had in 2011. I respect the people of Hochelaga too much to only represent them part time. My heart is still with you, but my energy levels are not.
It was a difficult decision to make, because I care deeply for my fellow constituents, people I’ve had the honour of representing for eight years now. However, I need to accept that the time has come for me to take a last bow. You can count on me to finish this current mandate and continue to be your voice in Ottawa until the next election. Over the next months, I will continue to defend the issues we all care about in the House of Commons, like access to affordable housing, tackling social inequities, protecting our planet. These are all issues that will define our common future. And if I can do anything, over the next few special months, to put more pressure on the government, I will.
My greatest pride is the fact that we have handled more than 1400 citizen files, some of which were very complex. From orders of expulsion to problems with the Canada Revenue Agency, my approach was always that people must come first. I also worked hard to be active in my community. And through our concerted efforts, I am proud to say we were able to find the funds to relocate the community organization Dopamine and open a shelter in Cap Saint-Barnabé.
With the help of my team, we presented our vision for the revitalisation of the port of Montreal. We published our own report on real estate speculation in Hochelaga. As NDP Housing Critic, I tabled a report on my tour across Canada to observe the housing crisis, and I introduced a bill demanding that the right to housing be officially recognized. I just could not remain passive in the face of so much poverty in my riding, and I want to recognize the various organizations in Hochelaga that do incredible work to support people in need.
A deep respect for people’s dignity and quality of life is what has guided my approach as your representative in the House of Commons over the past eight years. For me, being an MP is about being a strong voice for people living under difficult circumstances, being someone that under-funded organizations can talk to, and making sure that desperate people are respectfully welcomed and are given the time to be helped properly when they arrive at my office in tears. That’s what it means to be a New Democratic MP.
While I may not be seeking a third mandate, I know a spirited next generation is waiting at the NDP to continue my work. The Hochelaga NDP Association is doing well and many people have already approached me to run under our banner. Of course, it will be up to the members to decide, and you will have my full support.
I want thank you from the bottom of my heart for every one of these great years. As Jack Layton said so well, “Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."