Pierre Cyr - Green Party
Name: Pierre Cyr
Cyr lives in Fort-Coulonge and worked for 27 years as an airport manager and national aviation specialist for NavCanada. He has two sons and is also a hot air balloon pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer. Cyr became involved in politics to promote proportional representation - the representation of more ideas than just those of the majority party in policy. He believes this will allow for more nuanced decisions and greater consensus at the provincial level.
Party: Green Party (Parti Vert)
Political spectrum: Left
View on Quebec sovereignty: While the Parti Vert is not a separatist party, Cyr does advocate for greater autonomy for provinces across Canada particularly with regards to healthcare and immigration.
Cyr said the Parti Vert would conduct an in-depth assessment of the health system and put in place strong quality control measures as a first step to improve healthcare stating that: “I think we have plenty of money going towards healthcare, but the problem is that it’s not well organized.” To retain more healthcare workers in the province, he would increase salaries and improve working conditions. He is cautious about any privatization of services that would drain the public system, but said that there may be some services that could be privatized after a careful analysis.
Cyr also considers it important to reopen closed services such as the obstetrics unit in the Pontiac and says that he will push for decentralization by giving decision making powers to local institutions, “We need to give the system to the people who are working in the system, and we need to stop making decisions without consulting them.”
While Cyr believes that the long-term restructuring of the system is necessary, he also thinks it is important to find short term measures to mitigate the effects of dysfunction in the healthcare system. For the Outaouais area a possible short-term solution could be full government coverage for going to hospitals in Ontario when emergency wait times in the region are long.
Cyr also says that he will work towards decreasing the wait times for mental health and social workers, particularly for youth and promote greater quality and access to in-home care for the elderly.
Protecting the environment and combating climate change is a major priority for the Green Party. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally, Cyr is committed to improve the public transportation system and infrastructure by providing more reserved lanes in cities and by making public transit free.
Cyr believes that Quebec should have its own recycling agency and should immediately stop the widespread practice of sending recycling and garbage to other countries. He also thinks that recycling should be made mandatory for the industrial and commercial sectors. He finds improving waste management systems to be particularly given that Canada produces the most waste per capita globally.
Cyr also believes the Pontiac region is in a good position to be developed further in order to make it more attractive for visitors and businesses, but this should be done in a measured way that is attentive to the preservation of the environment.
The Green Party has said that they are committed to making post-secondary education free. He said that a first step to improving the quality of educational services in Quebec is to take time to seriously reflect and conduct an in-depth assessment of the state of the educational system as a whole and adopt measures and policies based on a sound assessment process.
Cyr also believes that education, like healthcare, should be more decentralized and that more responsibility should be given to school boards and school service centres as well as post-secondary institutions like Cegeps and universities. Additionally, reducing the pay gap between teachers in Quebec and Ontario as well as improving working conditions is a high priority. Cyr said that reducing the student to teacher ratio is important and that class sizes should stay at around 20. He also said that French language learning should start at the first grade and that a greater range of government funded sport programs should be made accessible to students. He believes that Quebec should no longer finance private schools and that this funding should instead support the public school system.
Language and Diversity (Bill 96, Bill 21):
While Cyr believes that it is important to protect French language and culture as well as the secularism of the state, he thinks that recent bills passed by the CAQ government (Bill 96 and Bill 21) went too far. While not necessarily opposed to the bills in their entirety, Cyr said that both Bill 96 and Bill 21 would have been more nuanced had there been proportional representation since the majority party would have had to take into consideration the other parties’ perspectives.
Cyr said that he would step up to support a bilingual justice system and, while he considers protecting the secularism of the state to be important, he does not see any major issues with the display of some religious symbols such as a woman wearing a headscarf in public positions. He feels that greater public conversation is needed to understand diverse cultures and religions in Quebec.
Overall, he said that he is committed to representing Quebecers in the region whatever their linguistic or cultural background at the National Assembly, “As a representative of Pontiac, what we are looking for is someone to stand up for the people and I am willing to do that”