Why you are the most qualified person to represent this region?
Born in Val-d’Or, 28-year-old Steven Hébert is the youngest candidate running in the Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou riding. A graduate of the University of Ottawa, he spent the last four years working in the Prime Minister’s Office as a communications advisor. Prior to that he worked for Pierre Corbeil, who represented Abitibi-Est in Quebec’s National Assembly.
“I have a very good understanding of the issues that affect this riding,” said Hébert. “Even though I’m young, I have an education in political science and I’ve been working in politics for almost 10 years now, so I have the experience.”
What can the Conservative Party specifically do for the region?
Hébert says that the focus of his party over the next four years would be economic development; a platform on which he says the Conservative government is strong.
“When it comes to the economy, the Conservative Party is the only party that has had great results when it comes to economic growth,” says Hébert. “As the new MP I will make sure to create more economic growth in Quebec that Northerners can benefit from. In my view, we will improve the quality of life for Northerners, which is very important.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, this government is making significant progress on Aboriginal and economic issues, which is important for our riding.”
What can you do for the Cree specifically?
Hébert’s plan for economic growth in the riding is something that he says would include the Cree.
“If there are new projects up north I will make sure that the Cree can benefit from these projects,” said Hébert. “With economic growth we can improve the quality of life up north and I think this will be a very good thing for the Cree people.”
Hébert told the Nation that this influx of economic opportunity would likely come in the resource sector, but said he could not give any sort of specifics without first consulting stakeholders. He did point out that Aboriginal communities would be consulted on any new projects in the region.
The Conservative government has drawn the ire of dozens of First Nations and women’s advocacy groups in recent years for rejecting numerous calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. But Hébert says his party is taking the best approach to tackle the issue.
“The Conservative party has a very tough-on-crime agenda,” he said. “These crimes are unacceptable and need to be addressed. In my mind, we no longer need to discuss this issue. The only thing that needs to be done is help police bring these criminals to justice so that they can be held accountable for what they have done.”