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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Bussière has failed us

Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière has completely failed his English-speaking constituents.

It’s gotten so bad that he won’t give them just a moment of his time.

Seventy of them were camped outside the Masham Arena on May 20 as he was announcing a high-speed internet project for the Hills. They just wanted a word with him to explain why he plans to vote for Bill 96. They wanted to tell him how the bill will affect them and their children. They just wanted to be heard.

All Bussière had to do was get up, walk 20 metres outside and face the crowd – his own constituents; his own neighbours; the people he used to serve during his 20-plus years as mayor of La Pêche. But he never did.

Instead, he stayed inside behind a handful of MRC cops who had shown up to keep the peaceful crowd in line. When the Low Down arrived at the arena to cover the protest, three police cruisers were stationed in the parking lot.

It’s clear from this that Bussière’s camp got wind of a brewing protest and did everything in their power to shield our notoriously difficult-to-contact MP from speaking publicly on Bill 96. The Low Down has covered several of Bussière’s recent funding announcements and none of them included police presence. Bussière’s office would not comment on why police were called, but La Pêche mayor Guillaume Lamoureux confirmed they were not requested by the municipality.

This is not okay. This is just another intimidation tactic from the CAQ government to shut out the English voice in Quebec. The scary thing is that it worked.

These cops were clearly given a direct order to keep anyone from the public from entering the building. The group of protesters were told immediately by police that they would have to remain about 25 meters from the doors of the arena. The Low Down wasn’t even allowed in until Lamoureux vouched for the newspaper. We weren’t invited.

Local Wakefielder Shaughn McAarthur was even threatened with arrest as he tried to enter the municipal building.

What were they so afraid of ?

Were these singing, dancing protestors a threat to public security?

Was your precious Bussière in danger?

No. All the constituents want is to hear from their local MNA on a historic bill that will drastically change the lives of English-speaking Quebecers throughout the province. They want to know why Bill 96 is so important. They want clarification on how the bill will affect them; they want assurances that their children won’t be disadvantaged if they choose to go to school in Quebec and they want the right to choose their own first language.

They just want answers from their elected representative.

Is that too much to ask?

Aren’t politicians supposed to be for the people?

Bussière is not for the people. He’s a puppet for the party and a coward who won’t even look his own neighbours in the eye.

It’s mind-boggling to realize that to speak with your local MNA in the Hills, you first have to go through a group of tough-guy cops.

Only in Quebec.

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