CASSELMAN – Stéphane Sarrazin, confident, enthusiastic, and optimistic describes how he felt the morning after winning his election bid on June 2.
He is the new Progressive Conservative (PC), member of provincial parliament, (MPP) for the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.
Sarrazin has also served his community as the Mayor of Alfred and Plantagenet and the warden of Prescott and Russell United Counties.
The riding had been held by former MPP Amanda Simard. Simard had been elected in 2018 as a Progressive Conservative. She left the PC party after Ontario Premier Doug Ford eliminated the French language services commissioner and along the way, cancelled their plans for a new French language university. Simard became an Independent member of parliament until she joined the Liberal party in 2020.
In the recent election, she came in second behind Sarrazin with just 38 per cent of the votes or 16,549 votes. Sarrazin won his seat with 18,033 votes.
The idea of becoming involved in provincial politics at the provincial level has been a tantalizing thought in the back of Sarrazin’s mind for several years.
“Sarrazin said, “A couple of years ago, being a mayor and being a member of council of the United Counties of Prescott Russell, I felt we did not have good representation at Queen’s Park. At that time, the former MPP was not doing lots for us.”
Sarrizin along with a few other concerned members of the riding decided to create a back channel to the province to try and get the concerns of the riding through to the provincial government. The group connected with MPP Mulroney.
“We said if we have something that we need from the provincial government, can we use you as our communication channel?”
As a result, the group made a healthy connection with the provincial government and soon other affected communities in the riding were joining in.
Sarrizin said, “All of the mayors of Glengarry Prescott Russell said we need somebody for the next four years to represent us and that’s how it all started.”
Once committed to the idea, Sarrizin said he never doubted that he would succeed. He remembers that when he was campaigning, everywhere he went he received a positive reception.
“I know what files are important for the region and they have been sitting at the county level for almost four years now.”
As the newly elected MPP for his riding, Sarrizin said he is ready to take on the job. Some of his priorities are jobs, infrastructure, roads, and training people so that they will have a better opportunity of securing a job in the future.
The New Democratic Party came in with 3,634 votes, Green party with 1,601, the New Blue party with 1,858 and the Ontario party with 787.