Morin brings fresh energy, new vision to N.D.G.-Lachine
Like many of her newly elected NDP Quebec colleagues, Morin has no experience in federal or provincial politics. She is not a newcomer, though, to political activity, having been active in student politics in Sherbrooke, where she is proud of her main achievement—getting the university to dedicate land on its sprawling campus so students and residents could plant vegetable gardens.
She also ran, unsuccessfully, for an ecological party at the municipal level.
It was these leadership qualities that attracted her to NDP recruiters, their eyes fixed on signing up young, energetic, idealistic candidates with some life experience. (There are more than enough lawyers packing the ranks of the old parties.)
“I love to work for people. In my life, I have always been involved in community,” Morin said.
Morin is in some ways a typical 20-something Québécoise: She is concerned enough about her environment to want to make changes and is not consumed by the so-called national question. She has two rhinestone studs in her left eyebrow, and had been living on de l’Esplanade, between Bernard and Van Horne, part of hip Mile End.
When we met, she and her partner, Didier Sacy, a full-time eBay trader, were shopping around for a property in Lachine.
“I think it’s important for me to live in the riding,” she said. And what is it about the NDP that attracted her?
“It’s a party that is close to people, health care for seniors, families. I am a very green person, and the NDP is the most green party.” She finds the Green Party too limited, policy wise, and rejected running for the Bloc Québécois.
“The Bloc was a party that was created to be there if Quebec separates, but now I don’t think there is a project like that.
“I don’t think the Bloc should be there. It’s nice to defend Quebec, but Quebec is in Canada and if Quebecers wants to be involved in federal politics, they need to support a party that is involved outside Quebec in the rest of Canada.”
And where does she stand on the national question?
“I am in a federal party and I think federalism is good. If Quebec wants to quit, the NDP respects the right to self-determination.”
She decided to run because “it was the time to be involved in something.” She concentrated door-to-door canvassing in Lachine, Dorval and at the corner of Sherbrooke and Cavendish, while her team worked Notre Dame de Grâce and Montreal West.
“I met about 2,000 voters and my team another 2,000. A lot of them said they needed a change, that Jennings was good and that after 17 years they wanted something new, new energy and a new vision.”
Morin stopped teaching May 6, but worked an additional week to help out until a replacement could be found. She explained to her students why she was leaving, and the principal asked if she’ll be back in four years. She did not reply.
She hopes to focus her efforts on improving pubic transit and helping new Canadians by setting up a central office in the riding or nearby to help them integrate and deal with various issues, from taxes to health care. She would also like to see something done with abandoned factories in Lachine.
Is this NDP sweep a flash in the political pan in Quebec?
“It is good for Quebecers to feel they are inside Canada, and maybe get more done than the other parties (such as the Bloc Québécois). It’s the time for us to prove that we are good and not just some young persons without experience.”
While her plans to have children are on hold, her other major plan on the personal level, after two litters, is to have her cat spayed.