Former Liberal leader Stephane Dion kickstarts Duncan McMillan’s campaign in Wakefield, Quebec

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by admin on April 7, 2011

Liberal candidate for Pontiac Cindy Duncan McMillan and former party leader Stephane Dion speak to reporters at the Indignation March April 4.

Mostly things have been all quiet on the western Quebec front for the upcoming federal election, with only a few candidate signs popping up and still no word on an NDP front-runner to contest the Pontiac riding.

But Liberal candidate Cindy Duncan McMillan has been cranking up the volume since Day 1 of the campaign. The Farrellton farmer showed up a second time at a rally – “The Indignation March – on April 4 to back the saving the Gatineau River movement.

This time she brought along some firing power: former Liberal party leader and environment minister Stephane Dion, who told the crowd of more than 150 exactly what they wanted to hear.

“How can we care about water around world if we don’t care about the water here in our own country,” he said, drawing a roar from the crowd.

“The Fisheries Act is a federal law. It’s a federal act that we need to respect and it will be respected, especially if Cindy (Duncan McMillan) is there to speak for you.”

McMillan stood on the steps of the La Peche municipal building, bursting with energy as she assured the energetic bunch that protecting the Gatineau River is a federal issue – and an election issue this year.

“I know health is a shared responsibility,” shouted McMillan, pounding her fist in her hand. “And clean water, fresh air and pure soils are federal responsibilities and they are our responsibility, too.”

She commended the protesters for their dedication to questioning the controversial issues surrounding Wakefield, which include the creation of a light industrial park, the Hwy 5  extension, and the proposed regional septic treatment facility that will dump its liquid end product into the Gatineau River.

The rally wasn’t exclusive to Wakefield residents only. People from Masham, East Aldfield and Duclos joined in the march through the village, all strongly opposed to the way Mayor Robert Bussiere has been conducting business in the municipality.

“A lot of people (in Masham) don’t support these projects and the way they are being pushed through,” said Masham resident Christina Jando, adding that many of her neighbours are strongly opposed to the light industrial park.

After the march, Dion and Duncan McMillan headed to Low to launch the Pontiac Liberal candidate’s campaign, leaving a large group of protesters to take in the La Peche council meeting. They were a bit early and were forced to wait almost an hour in the cold drizzle until  council had finished its caucus meeting. They banged drums, tooted whistles and waved signs until the doors opened.