Olivia on the Hill: Blanchette-Lamothe and Caron

January 31st, 2014 by Olivia Dorey

CIVIX team member Olivia Dorey is meeting with Members of Parliament to learn about the presence of politicians in schools and how we can build and improve our programs. 

Olivia met with NDP MPs Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe and Guy Caron together earlier this week.


Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe is the NDP MP for Pierrefonds – Dollard, and critic for Citizenship and Immigration. Having been a teacher, and pursuing her Master’s degree in education before entering politics, she has first-hand experience to put behind her recommendations. She has also worked in Kuujjuak, an Aboriginal community in Northern Québec, before being elected by her constituents in 2011.

Guy Caron is the NDP MP for Rimouski-Neigette – Témiscouata – Les Basques, and deputy critic for finance and international trade. He was involved in student politics, serving as the president of the Student Federation at the University of Ottawa, and went on to become the president of the Canadian Federation of Students. Since then, he has held many positions, but has settled in Gatineau with his family. 

Blanchette-Lamothe and Caron

Mr. Caron estimates that he has 50 schools in his riding, while Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe estimates closer to 15, as many of the youth who live in her constituency belong to a school board outside her riding. They both estimate that they visit schools five times per year, though Mr. Caron tends to visit schools with which he has long lasting relationships.

Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe sends out pamphlets indicating her interest in visiting schools, but having been a teacher understands that it is complicated to organize them. Both MPs agreed that their role as federal representatives has a deterrent effect in Quebec, where provincial representatives are more often represented. Mr. Caron also cites the lack of a civic education course as an impediment, as it would create the perfect environment for visits from representatives. 

Want to learn more about Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe and Guy Caron? You can visit Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe’s website and Member of Parliament Profile and Mr. Caron’s website and Member of Parliament Profile.

Stay tuned for more of Olivia’s meetings!

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