Andreanne Larouche: the love of work in the field
It caused surprise by winning against the liberal Pierre Breton in the federal election on October 21. For the one many call only by her first name, this new adventure is only the culmination of years of involvement in her community. For these reasons, La Voix de l’Est awards Andréanne Larouche the title of personality of the year 2019.
M hile it has just begun his first term as MP for Shefford, Andréanne Larouche is far from being at his first policy.
“Her journey destined her to get there. She has always been very involved with organizations, and especially in her community. I am very, very proud that she was elected, ”notes Marie Bouillé, of whom Ms. Larouche was the political attaché during her second term as MP for Iberville, from 2012 to 2014.
A comment that resonates with several other people who rub shoulders with the newly elected for several years.
“Andréanne is omnipresent in the region. He is someone on the ground. When she was elected, she had to resign from five boards of directors, nothing less!, Launches her spouse of the last 11 years, Richard Leclerc. She loves the world; she has an ability to communicate with people and to be interested in them. ”
“Andréanne is a very loyal employee. When she is present, she is very involved; I would even say that she always gives her 100% and that she is very concerned with getting it right, ”notes Marie-Christine Paquette, Director of Alternative Justice and Mediation in Granby, where Ms. Larouche worked until her election.
From behind the scenes to the spotlight
La Suttonnaise has been gravitating in the political sphere for a dozen years. She got her start with the former Bloc member for Brome-Missisquoi, Christian Ouellet, of whom she was the political attaché from 2007 to 2012.
Now retired, the latter has only good words for his former employee. “For me, it was a very positive collaboration. Andréanne, I trusted her and she responded in an extraordinary way, he says. She was assistant to my office in Cowansville, then in Ottawa. She learned how to put together a file, she learned the importance of going to the scene. She is an accomplished politician. Andréanne really has what it takes to be an excellent MP. ”
It is also thanks to Mr. Ouellet that Andréanne Larouche met her spouse who, in 2008, was running for votes in Brome-Missisquoi for the Parti québécois for the first time. “We are both convinced sovereignists,” says Leclerc. Politics occupies a lot of space in our relationship; it constantly drives us. ”
According to Andréanne Larouche’s spouse, Richard Leclerc, politics, which allowed them to meet, occupies a central place at the heart of their relationship.
In fact, when he left the Parti Québécois presidency in Brome-Missisquoi, she took up the torch. Everything else is just the logical continuation of a journey that spans many years.
“In 11 years, we have run eight electoral campaigns, sometimes as candidates, but also for other candidates”, lists the Sutton advertiser, giving for example the Bloc and PQ candidates René Beauregard, Christelle Bogosta and Patrick Melchior, among others .
In 2018, Ms. Larouche went from behind the scenes to the spotlight by wearing the colors of the Parti Québécois in Brome-Missisquoi during the provincial election campaign. However, she finished fourth, a heartbreaking defeat, according to Mr. Leclerc, which had led to a serious questioning of the political implication of the candidate.
However, she was seduced by the Bloc Québécois after a court of several weeks. “Andréanne did not plan to run for federal government before she was courted,” says her spouse.
Moreover, at the time of his inauguration in August, the forecasts did not suggest a victory, while the outgoing Liberal MP, Pierre Breton, led with 47% of the voting intentions. The Bloc Québécois came second with just over half of the potential support.
“At the time, when we approached the candidates, it took a lot of courage,” recalls the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet. It was difficult to win, especially in a riding like Shefford. But Andréanne was a fierce activist and her commitment to the cause is sincere. She is not a careerist, she is an idealist. And that’s why I wanted her on my team. ”
Nevertheless, the candidate persevered, winning by a slim 1.6% lead over her opponent. His outgoing personality has certainly weighed heavily in the balance, believes those around him.
“Andréanne has a lot of empathy and compassion, two very important qualities in politics. People feel it and I think it has allowed it to stand out, ”says Marie Bouillé.
Mr. Ouellet agrees with this. “Listening is an extremely important quality, even vital for an MP, and Andréanne has everything to spare. And she respects people. It’s essential. And above all, she knows how to express herself very well, she has an ease in communicating her ideas. ”
Marie Bouillé and Christian Ouellet (here photographed in 2010), have only good words about Andréanne Larouche, who was their political attaché between 2008 and 2014.
In the shadow cabinet of the Bloc Québécois, its leader, Yves-François Blanchet, entrusted him with the files on the status of women, the equality of people and seniors. Mandates that match the personality of the member, who has social justice at heart, have entrusted members of her entourage.
“Andréanne has this conviction of bringing a positive change to the problems she encounters: she truly believes in the causes that she defends. With us, she led the awareness-raising file on elder abuse, ”says Ms. Paquette.
“And among the elders, there are many vulnerable women; women are also more likely to be caregivers. I believe that all of this, it suits Andréanne well and that Yves-François has seen what she could bring to the debate, ”underlines Mr. Leclerc.
“When you appoint a council of ministers, you try to remove the candidates from their prejudices. When you choose critics, you go there based on their expertise. Andréanne is very sensitive to the cause of the elderly and that of women is complementary, ”explains Mr. Blanchet.
In the shadow cabinet of the Bloc Québécois, its leader, Yves-François Blanchet, entrusted him with the files of the Status of Women, the Equality of People and the Elderly.
However, the new member for Shefford in the House of Commons will face several challenges during this first term.
“Andréanne will have to be able to speak with a strong voice and make room for herself in the House of Commons while listening and respecting the Liberal government, which will not always be easy,” predicts Ms. Bouillé.
For his part, Richard Leclerc believes that his spouse will have to make herself known beyond the community sphere. “Andréanne is someone who serves people. For years, she has devoted herself to the community, but she must now demonstrate the same availability and the same desire to serve in the business community, for example. And already, she went to meet several companies in the riding, ”he explains.
Her boss believes that Andréanne should not take anything for granted. “She is in a riding which, historically, has not always been favorable to the Bloc,” he recalls. And she won by a very small margin. It must therefore be tamed by the people of Shefford by the next election which, in my opinion, will happen fairly quickly. ”
According to his former boss, it is rather the search for a balance between his professional life and his personal life that will represent the main challenge of the new member for Shefford. “Since she wants to do everything, but is only one person, she must take care of her health. Those around her must protect her and people must respect that she also has the right to her private life, ”says Mr. Ouellet.
“Being a member of parliament is demanding. People don’t realize how constantly invitations are received. We can’t be everywhere, he continues. Despite everything, I have great confidence in Andréanne. She is a tall woman, despite her small physical stature. She will go far. “