• Stuart Benson

Pontiac voters elect Liberal Sophie Chatel as MP


For the first time, Pontiac will be represented by a woman in the 44th Canadian Parliament, electing Liberal party candidate Sophie Chatel as its member of Parliament with over 40 per cent of the vote. Stuart Benson Photo

Voters in the Pontiac have elected Liberal candidate Sophie Chatel as their new MP. Chatel is the first woman to be named MP in the riding after she secured more than 40 per cent of the vote during Monday’s federal election.


Chatel won the election with over 40 per cent of the vote, with Conservative party candidate Michel Gauthier securing just over 20 per cent. Bloc Quebecois candidate Gabrielle Desjardins will receive around 15 per cent of the vote, similar to her party’s showing in 2019. NDP candidate Denise Giroux will also maintain much of her vote share from the previous election at just over 10 per cent.


Just after 11 p.m. – over 90 minutes after polls had closed in the Pontiac on Sept. 20 – Chatel spoke to the crowd of supporters that had gathered for the candidate's victory inside Cafe Cognac in the Plateau in Gatineau.


“All my career I have served Canadians,” Chatel said. “For me, politics is just another way to serve Canadians.”


Chatel is a career civil servant, having worked at the Canada Revenue Agency from 2002 until 2016 and serving as the associate chief for tax treaties and international tax for the Department of Finance from 2008 until 2017. She has lived in the municipality of Pontiac since 2002, when she moved there with her husband and her one-year-old twin boys. Currently her two sons are attending university; one studying software engineering at Polytechnique Montréal and the other studying law at the University of Ottawa, where her husband also teaches global history.


In 2017 Chatel became the head of the tax treaty unit for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, travelling back and forth between Pontiac and Paris, overseeing and advancing elements of a plan for a minimum tax on digital tech giants and multinational corporations.


“I worked hard to make sure that even the wealthiest pay their fair share,” Chatel said. “I hope to bring all of that experience with me to the negotiations in Parliament and continue to do the work of growing our economy after the pandemic.”


Chatel said her priorities as the MP of Pontiac will be working with the province to improve healthcare services, Indigenous reconciliation, bringing clean drinking water to Kitigan Zibi, and fighting climate change.