Pierre Lemieux wants to return to the House of Commons. The former three-term Conservative Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell is his party’s nominee for the federal election that will take place one year from now.
Since being defeated by Liberal MP Francis Drouin in 2015, Lemieux has been focusing on his business as a project management consultant and has never entirely stopped keeping a close watch on politics locally and nationally. Before politics and business, Lemieux served for 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and completed his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel in the army. “It taught me a lot about service, Lemieux said about his years in the armed forces and added, “Being an MP was a continuation of that service.”
Lemieux had sharp criticism for the Trudeau government’s handling of the recently-concluded North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations that have led to the new United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA).
“By far, the biggest issue right now is the Liberals betraying our dairy farmers,” he said. Under USMCA, the supply-managed dairy sector in Canada will have to allow more American dairy products to be imported into Canada.
“Under a Conservative government, we never would have let the negotiations go in that direction, said Lemieux, who added that the steel aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration in the U.S. will remain in place under USMCA, and that the ongoing trade dispute over softwood lumber remains unresolved.
The Conservative candidate blasted the Liberal record on small business tax reform and plans to introduce a federal carbon tax. Lemieux said the government unfairly labelled small business owners as tax cheats when Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced measures to close loopholes and increase business taxes in 2017. Lemieux emphasized how small businesses are largely what create jobs in Glengarry-Prescott and Russell. He criticized Liberal MP Francis Drouin for not supporting a motion in Parliament that would have allowed for more public consultation on the tax changes. As for the carbon tax, Lemieux stressed Conservative opposition to the plan and said Canadians will unfortunately be paying more if it takes effect. He described himself as a fiscal conservative: “I believe in low taxes,” he said.
Lemieux is not concerned about former Conservative MP and leadership candidate Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party taking away Conservative support in 2019.
“Max never really accepted the outcome he was not selected leader,” said Lemieux, of his former colleague, who lost the 2017 party leadership race to Andrew Scheer. Lemieux said the goal is to defeat Justin Trudeau and Francis Drouin and believes only the Conservatives can do that. He said Andrew Scheer is “very much like you, I, and the people in our riding,” and has not had the life of privilege the Prime Minister has.
Pierre Lemieux said he is committed to connecting with voters by talking with people and attending events in the community. He said doing that is necessary to find out what people’s needs are. He again criticized the Liberal incumbent and said, “Francis has been invisible,” regarding presence in the community. Lemieux said he has been talking with residents and there is a sense of unease with the actions of the Liberal government.
“People have a lot of confidence in me,” he said, later adding “They know I have integrity.”