• Stuart Benson

Giroux: don’t reward ‘selfish election’ with majority

NDP candidate highlights benefits of minority government

Denise Giroux will be the New Democratic Party’s candidate in Pontiac for the second time, and is asking voters to help her party continue to hold Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to account in another minority government.


“I hope that voters will not give this very selfish election the majority mandate that Mr. Trudeau is seeking,” Giroux told The Low Down on Aug. 20, the day after she had been officially selected as the party’s candidate by acclamation. “Canadians don't want an election, they would like to have a government that they can count on for the leadership that is needed during the pandemic. They have been getting that kind of leadership from Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.”


One benefit of being the only candidate to have previously run for election in the Pontiac is that Denise Giroux already has a few signs up from the 2019 election, like this one near Cafe Pot-au-Feu in Wakefield. Stuart Benson photo
One benefit of being the only candidate to have previously run for election in the Pontiac is that Denise Giroux already has a few signs up from the 2019 election, like this one near Cafe Pot-au-Feu in Wakefield. Stuart Benson photo

A resident of Mont Cascades, Giroux is a lawyer who works as an employment relations officer for the Professional Institute of the Public Service. She is the only candidate with experience in elections, garnering 10.4 per cent of the riding’s vote share during the 2019 Federal election.


This election, Giroux will be campaigning to address the climate crisis, Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and fighting poverty, as well as sending a message to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals that they need to learn to work together.


“[The Liberals] should stop looking for 100 per cent of the power,” Giroux said. “They don't deserve it and nor should an electoral system give a party with 35 per cent support the majority of the power.”


Giroux argued that when the Liberals were given a majority mandate in 2015, voters wanted to believe Trudeau when he promised to ban single use plastics or to take the climate crisis seriously.


“They preferred to buy a pipeline and increase carbon emissions,” Giroux said. “It is only in the last two years, in the midst of the pandemic and with the NDP's participation under a Liberal minority government, that we have seen some progress.”


Giroux pointed to things like the NDP pushing the Liberals to increase CERB payments from the proposed $1,000 to $2,000, and increasing the wage subsidy for small businesses from 10 per cent to 75 per cent.


“We made a real difference in this minority government in these past two years,” Giroux said. “We would like to continue to move ahead with real concrete measures for the environment, improvements to the employment insurance plans, and building affordable housing.”


Giroux rejects the notion that the Liberals need a new or larger mandate to deal with these issues, and pointed to things like medicare and pensions for seniors as examples of the things that can be accomplished in a minority government.


“The Liberals were given a mandate two years ago to work with the balance of power shared between the NDP and the Bloc,” Giroux added. “They had a majority four years ago and they squandered it. Why would a new one bring about dramatic changes now?”