At the corn kiosk on Guy Brouillette’s farm, the season is coming to an end.
We still have some until the first big frost, says the 58-year-old farmer, offering me a sweet, warm, buttery cob. Between bites, I ask him: – So Mr. Brouillette, how is farming in Quebec? Like the sky this autumn morning, Mr. Brouillette are stormy.
It’s good for the big ones, but for the others it’s total hunger. He sighs and repeats:
Guy Brouillette’s family acquired the land he’s been cultivating for 125 years. He bought it back from his mother for a fraction of its market value. He is a gardener, but he also has a calf farm. The man dedicates mornings, evenings and weekends to the farm, but he also works 40 hours a week at the specialist agricultural machinery workshop that bears his name and which he sold to his employees five years ago.
If I hadn’t worked somewhere other than the farm, the cows would have starved to death.he said.
I earn zero with the farm. My wife who takes care of the damn paperwork required by the Ministry of Agriculture, she also earns zero. Add zero plus zero! Well, that’s zero. Zero as in Ouellet.
According to Guy Brouillette, this very simple mathematical equation explains why the number of ranchers is decreasing like a thread in Quebec.
Today our beef is easily compared to western beef, it is cut with a fork so tender it is. We earn a dollar a pound, which you can’t buy at the supermarket. It’s not us pocketing let me tell youhe said impetuously.
At the end of the electoral race, the businessman does not mince his words.
CAQ is the worst party since the Confederation for agricultural producers. He is particularly angry with the outgoing government’s minister of agriculture. The qualifiers he uses to talk about it are colorful to say the least and couldn’t be written down here, but he sums up his grievances in earnest.
They just helped the big producersit sums up.
– So, who are you going to vote for?
cenne avec. Et ils voulaient taxer ça! Je sais bien qu’ils ont changé d’idée pour les agriculteurs, mais pour moi, ça prouve qu’ils sont déconnectés de la réalité des campagnes. Non, vous allez rire de moi, mais je vais voter libéral. Je dois être un des derniers francophones à voter pour ça”,”text”:”Certainement pas pour QS. Ma ferme vaut plus d’un million, mais je ne fais pas une cenne avec. Et ils voulaient taxer ça! Je sais bien qu’ils ont changé d’idée pour les agriculteurs, mais pour moi, ça prouve qu’ils sont déconnectés de la réalité des campagnes. Non, vous allez rire de moi, mais je vais voter libéral. Je dois être un des derniers francophones à voter pour ça”}}”>Certainly not for QS. My farm is worth over a million, but I don’t earn penny with. And they wanted to tax it! I know they changed their minds for the farmers, but to me, it proves that they are disconnected from the reality of the countryside. No, you will laugh at me, but I will vote liberal. I must be one of the last French speakers to vote for thishe said laughing.
But I’m left-of-center and traditionally it’s liberals.
We left Mr. Brouillette after a visit to the barn where he installed his collection of old tractors that he likes to mend, an agricultural heritage he cherishes.
On Saturdays, in winter, the people of the village come here, we repair the tractors, we talk, we take the opportunity to meethe told us with a certain tenderness when referring to these encounters.
The storm broke over the Mauricie, so we continued on towards Beauce and the Beaucerons, these rebels, like Madeleine Ferron and Robert Cliche already wrote in 1974 in a book on the history of Beauce. The authors report that the Beaucerons helped American troops who wanted to free themselves from the British crown, which had come in 1775 to take refuge in their territory, much to the despair of the clergy and politicians of French Canada at the time.
In Saint-Victor, a small town perched on a hill overlooking a valley as far as the eye can see, we stopped to take pictures of Éric Duhaime’s Conservative Party posters in front of the church. Alain Tardif, a local resident, challenged us.
Want to photograph Trump Junior?he told us mockingly, his big umbrella in one hand and his jars of preserves in the other.
I’m going to make cucumbers in vinegar. Mr. Tardif tells us that he will likely vote for Québec solidaire.
Over here, I’m the exception that proves the rule, he said laughing. He then asks us if we are going to meet the deputy.
The deputy? He is the second person in Saint-Victor to tell us about the
congressperson. However, Normand Lapointe has not been a member for a long time. He was elected to Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s liberal team in 1980. He defeated the Social Credit candidate, a conservative populist party, who held the seat opposite him. He lost in the 1984 election to his conservative opponent Gilles Bernier, Maxime’s father, who would become a minister under Brian Mulroney.
But no matter, Normand Lapointe is still called that by some people in the village. We played on his doorstep, just in case. The 86-year-old, straight as a bar, invites us in. At his house, you can see the valley below. in the words of
congresspersonwe mean the historical perspective, the one that only people who have lived a long time can give.
Beaucerons are not sheep. They are fearless, enterprising and hardworkinghe explains with pride.
Trudeau (he is obviously talking about his father) has always said to me, you, Lapointe, you are a true Beauceron. Former ape deputy Pierre Elliott assumes a nasal, slurred voice and quotes from memory what Trudeau Sr. used to repeat to him.
The best way to beat your opponent, Lapointe, is to say lots of nice things about him..
Mr. Lapointe imitates Pierre Elliott Trudeau so well that, in Saint-Victor’s small room, we burst out laughing.
Mr. Lapointe voted early. For Francois Legault.
He made mistakes but overall he did it well, he said. The member adopts the spasmodic rhythm typical of René Lévesque’s speech and quotes the founder of the Parti Québécois who would have said, Normand Lapointe tells us:
Only fools don’t make mistakes.
Before being elected to the federal scene, Lapointe was active in provincial politics. First for the Union Nationale of Jean-Jacques Bertrand, then for the Liberals of Bourassa.
Liberals there, it’s very unfortunate, but they will rise up. Remember that in 56, Georges-Émile Lapalme was going to sit in Quebec in a seven-seater. This did not stop Lesage from being elected in 1960 with an overwhelming majority.
And the conservatives?
I don’t want to know anything. Duhaime is a good radio announcer, but in politics he isn’t. But if people send him to Quebec, it’s democracy and we have to respect that. It is so important, democracy.
– What do you think of PQ?
: “En politique, ce n’est pas la grosseur de la masse qui compte, c’est la swing du manche”.”,”text”:”Un député de l’Union nationale, Maurice Bellemare pour ne pas le nommer, disait toujours: “En politique, ce n’est pas la grosseur de la masse qui compte, c’est la swing du manche”.”}}”>A member of the Union Nationale, Maurice Bellemare, not to mention his name, always said: “In politics, it is not the size of the mass that counts, it is the swing of the fist”. Lapointe is careful to specify, as if necessary given his background, that he is not a member of the PQ, but he states without hesitation:
swing en ce moment.”,”text”:”C’est Paul St-Pierre Plamondon qui a la swing en ce moment.”}}”>Paul St-Pierre Plamondon has the swing right now.