Riding profile: inside the South Shore battleground of Longueuil-Saint-Hubert
South of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge lies the federal riding of Longueuil--Saint-Hubert.
On Oct. 21, it might turn bright blue, for the Bloc Quebecois, or red, for the Liberals. It could even turn green or orange.
The area is made up of demographics all the major parties are trying to attract, according to pollster Philippe Fournier. It's a battleground.
At a greasy spoon restaurant on Tuesday, Green party candidate Pierre Nantel spoke with his constituents. He's the incumbent here. But he wasn't elected as a member of the Green party. Until recently, he was with the NDP; elected in 2011 as part of the orange wave that swept Quebec. But the party kicked him out, he said. Now, if re-elected, he wants to focus on poverty on the South Shore.
"One third of the kids in Longueuil live in a family beneath the poverty line," he said. "We need more social housing."
But he's polling behind two other candidates. Liberal candidate Rejean Hebert campaigned in another part of town on Tuesday. He's likely battling Bloc Quebecois candidate, Denis Trudel, for the lead in the riding.
Not long ago, the two would have agreed about at least one thing: Quebec independence. Hebert used to be a separatist. But he insists that he no longer espouses those views.
"I'm no longer a sovereignist, after the last election in 2014 I realized when meeting with people that Quebecers were fed up with this question of referendum and separatism," he said.
Now he'd rather focus on other issues, including prolonging the yellow line, so the metro reaches farther into Longueuil and building a tramway on Taschereau Blvd.
Bloc candidate Trudel, meanwhile, said his competitors: Hebert and Nantel, lack conviction. They've both switched parties before. He wants to win Longueuil voters' hearts by working on important issues like the environment he said while handing out fliers outside a supermarket.