Québec election: Cédrick Beauregard for the CAQ
(This is the first in our 6 party overviews on LGBT issues).“The Coalition unites everyone who is tired of the old parties’ debates,” Cédrick Beauregard tells us. This former political attaché to Education Minister Michelle Courchesne(!) is the de facto spokesman for LGBT issues for François Legault’s CAQ party. So what can the gay community expect from the CAQ?
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Cédrick Beauregard criticizes Charest’s Liberals, his former “political family,” amongst other reasons, for their recent funding cuts to Québec’s World AIDS Day campaign. Saying they cut the funding to save money and because “it was not politically sellable” for the embattled Premier’s government. “I found that they really left the gay community down,” Beauregard laments. For the month-long campaign, the affable candidate for the Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding has taken a hiatus from his job at the Fondation Jasmin Roy, where he has been director since 2011. Started by out gay TV personality of the same name, the foundation works with educators to combat school bullying, homophobic and otherwise.
As for the anti-homophobia Bureau and Action Plan that the Liberals instigated last year, the CAQ’s man in the Village says he would maintain both, and even improve the support they receive. Beauregard says the Bureau should definitely continue its work “but with somewhat greater means” (“avec un peu plus de moyens”). In general, the CAQ is known for its anti-bureaucracy stance, which includes eliminating school boards and replacing them with advisory committees.
In regards to the other burning questions in his riding, Mr. Beauregard is careful to come out on the side of community organizations. He is definitely “not against” the idea of a safe injection site being established in the area, and supports the social science behind them, as well as the simple fact that the sites would lead to fewer dirty needles on the street. “It’s projects that come from the community milieu that will improve overall safety,” he affirms.
For Beauregard, who holds a Master’s in international migration studies, the Liberals’ inter-ministerial policy on homelessness is flush with good intentions but “lacks the means” to put them into effect. Still, he is unconvinced that greater investment in social housing is the answer. Rather, psychosocial aid and job development are what’s needed to combat the roots of homelessness, he contends. Likewise for the reinstatement of sex education in public high schools, Beauregard insists that “we have to be imaginative: every context is different,” and that hence a centralized sex ed curriculum may not be the answer. Community consultation would be a priority if he is elected in a riding which pits him against the PQ incumbent Martin Lemay and Manon Massé of Québec Solidaire.
Editor’s Note: This article includes quotes that have been translated from an original interview in French. In tandem with Êtremag, we will be publishing a series of brief articles on each of the political parties’ LGBT platforms and/or their candidate in the Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding.