Liberal MNA calls it a career

Anthony Abbondanza
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With a potential election looming, Pierre Marsan decides to retire

Pierre Marsan (centre) surrounded by fellow West Island MNA’s Geoff Kelley (left) and Francois Ouimet (right) as he announced his retirement from politics.

After 20 years of representing the provincial riding of Robert-Baldwin, Pierre Marsan announced Monday morning at his Dollard des Ormeaux office he would not seek re-election in the impending election.

In an exclusive interview with The Chronicle, the member of the national assembly (MNA) said: “I had a reflection with my wife and two sons. We feel it’s the right time to step down, to give an opportunity to someone else to represent the riding.”

Marsan was surrounded by fellow West Island Liberal MNA’s Francois Ouimet and Geoff Kelley as he made the announcement.

“I’m losing a colleague and a friend in Quebec City,” said Kelley. “We made some great memories.”

Among the more memorable moments of Marsan’s career was the 1995 referendum where the West Island played a key role in maintaining Quebec’s status as a province of Canada.  Along with other MNAs on the island, Marsan fought hard to deliver approximately 150,000 ‘no’ votes with respect to the question of Quebec’s sovereignty.

“I’d like people to remember the 40,000 votes this riding delivered. We did such a great campaign with Geoff Kelley and Francois Ouimet and others,” said Marsan.

“We often talk about that referendum and how every West Island vote really counted because the final result was so close,” Kelley added.

Marsan will also be remembered for his role in the ‘Pour un Quebec en Sante’ electoral campaign program in 1998, the Dollard des Ormeaux demerger, and the improvement of Cloverdale over the years.

“The time I came in it was not secure; lots of violence and drugs. When they became a cooperative, it changed everything. People decided to take their fate in their hands,” said Marsan.

Still, Pierrefond’s Cloverdale sector remains one of the poorest postal codes in Canada with lots left to be done.

“The next MNA will have some work to do. You can never stop because there’s always room to improve,” he said.

Controversial exit?

The MNA raised some eyebrows in September when he allegedly signed a letter of solicitation to members of the Association Sépharade de la Banlieue Ouest de Montréal. The controversial letter asked member to contribute monetarily to the Liberal Party, reminding them of favours that were previously met.

Last week, Jacques Drouin, Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec, cleared Marsan of any wrongdoing.

“I received a letter from him saying I never wrote, signed, or delivered any letters to the association,” said Marsan.

“It was a false tempest in the teapot,” added Kelley.

After a career in the health industry, Marsan entered politics.

He was first elected in the riding of Robert-Baldwin in 1994 where he eventually became the parliamentary secretary to the health minister and minister of immigration in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He leaves his current office as official opposition critic for adult education among other titles.

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Organizations: Liberal Party

Geographic location: Quebec City, West Island, Canada

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