Martin C. Barry
Members of the Shree Ramji Temple on Durocher St. in Park Extension had a chance to hear an election pitch delivered by Papineau Conservative candidate Sophie Veilleux during a gathering at the temple on Sept. 14.
A sales professional
According to a profile of Veilleux by the Conservative Party of Canada, she is specialized in sales, marketing, and management. As a professional career representative in the pharmaceutical and food sectors, she has been working with the public for more than 20 years.
She has worked for several multinationals where she has received numerous awards for the excellence of her work, her dedication, and her involvement. Born in Montreal to French and Québécois parents, she is proud mother of Syndy and Christopher. Involved as a volunteer for many years as manager of her children’s sports teams, she was responsible for finances, fundraising, and tournament preparation, among other things.
She is keen on politics
She is passionate about news, especially politics. She likes to share her opinions and debate on the various social issues. She feels strongly about the environment, health, and family.
In an address, Veilleux said she sees the average voters in Papineau as people from families that are in debt or overtaxed, and parents trying to make ends meet, while paying high rents.
“As MP and as your representative, I will have the privilege of being at your side with dedication to bring and your preoccupations in Ottawa,” she said. “The position for which I am presenting myself to you will be one of my greatest honours.”
Has Senator’s endorsement
Veilleux was introduced to the temple members by Conservative Senator Leo Housakos who was born and raised in Park Extension. “Many of you might not know, but Park Extension is my hometown,” said Housakos, who lived at the corner of Durocher and Ball.
His parents arrived in Canada in 1957. “Every time I drive through this neighbourhoods I see my parents, I see myself, I see the people that came from far away with their shirt on their back and 25 cents in their pocket and a dream to help build Canada and build a better future for themselves and contribute to our great country.”
As such, Housakos said he is well-positioned to understand people of Indo-Canadian origin. “I have the utmost respect for the challenges that we face on a daily basis,” he said.
‘People who speak freely’
“The message that I want to leave with you today is that we have an election on Oct. 21 and it’s an opportunity to send people to Ottawa who speak freely, and not have people in Ottawa who speak only for the government, but people in Ottawa who speak for us here in Park Extension.”
Housakos described Veilleux as “one of those hard-working people who understands grassroots politics. She doesn’t have a trust fund. She’s not a rich kid. She’s someone who was also born in this district of Papineau and we want to be a voice for you. My message is do not allow politicians who come here just to take pictures and shake hands to garner your vote for nothing back.
Shots at Trudeau
“The Liberal Party of Mr. Trudeau are masters of parades, they’re masters of photo-ops, they’re masters of shaking your hand, but they are not ever returning anything back to our communities. They take us for granted. And it’s not enough to come here when they need us; it’s important to come here before.”
Temple Shree Ramji Mandhata was founded in 1992 and has been providing service in the form of Hindu spiritual guidance and cultural preservation since then. The members are a part of the Mandhata group that has been in existence for several decades now.