Many local issues are being discussed in this election, but Ottawa’s vibrant arts and culture scene doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. That’s a shame, because Ottawa is a heavy hitter in supporting a strong cultural sector. However, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the city’s arts scene, and it will take many years to rebound.
The Ottawa Cultural Alliance and Apartment613 are just two of many organizations devoted to fostering Ottawa’s arts and cultural scene. We jointly developed a candidate questionnaire and are publishing all the response we receive prior to Election Day on September 20. Sandrine Perion, Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Ottawa-West Nepean, was one of those who took the opportunity to respond. Check out the other candidate responses here.
What are your roots in the riding where you are running for office, and how have you been involved in the community?
I have been living in the NCR [National Capital Region] for almost 10 years. I am living in Gatineau and am planning on settling in the riding. My first connection with Hull-Aylmer was with its elected officials as part of my mandate from the Coalition for Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDC) and the International Federation of Coalition for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD). As mentioned on its website, CDC brings together Canada’s main French- and English-speaking organizations of professionals in the cultural sector. CDC is the voice of the cultural community. I also wrote the first Quadrennial Periodic Report (2012), submitted to UNESCO by the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), in accordance with the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Expressions from 2005.
Why should our readers vote for you?
Because I believe in the benefits of the diversity of cultural expression for Quebec, Canada, and the world. I like the rich and vibrant cultural community and sector in Quebec and Canada, and find it necessary for our communities, cities, and economy. It is an expression of our identity as whole, as a nation.
Cultural resources such as festivals, museums, and galleries play a critical role in the mental health of Ottawans. In fact, seven in 10 residents think cultural venues are important to mental health and well-being. They are places where our most vulnerable citizens can make social connections and be stimulated. Culture is arguably more important than ever as our economy and communities recover from the pandemic. What role do you see culture playing in the city’s reopening and recovery?
Mental health is one of the priorities of the Conservative Party of Canada. The well-being of our residents and citizens is at the forefront of our plan. We should all the more encourage them to make the most of cultural resources than before the pandemic.
What specific investments will you support to assist and grow Ottawa’s cultural sector?
The Conservative Party of Canada respects the jurisdiction of the province of Quebec. In this context, I would be delighted to work with the community and in partnership with the elected officials from the province and municipalities on preserving and growing a vibrant cultural community, heritage, and sector, according to the recovery plan introduced to Quebecers and Canadians by our leader Erin O’Toole.