Montreal: Yvan Bordeleau comments on his departure after 18 years

Nouvelles St-Laurent, Canada
Jan 20 2007

Yvan Bordeleau comments on his departure after 18 years of political
life

Yvan Bordeleau explained the reasons which led to his decision to
leave politics. (Photo: Martin Alarie) Yvan Bordeleau comments on his
departure after 18 years of political life

The next provincial election, which should take place this year, will
coincide with the departure of l’Acadie Member of the National
Assembly (MNA) Yvan Bordeleau, who will not seek a fifth mandate.
"I will be 65 years old next month and age became a factor to be
considered before continuing," he said during an interview at his
district office, last Tuesday.

"Since a mandate can last five years, I decided to move on to other
things, because the requirements related to the role of MNA could
become too demanding to assume at age 70, such as frequent and
extended travel, parliamentary functions and activities for the
district and the party," explained Bordeleau, who made his decision
during the holidays surrounded by his family.

The former teacher, who also directed the department of psychology at
the University of Montreal, will take his retirement after 18 years
of political life to devote his time to personal and family projects,
such as travelling with his wife Louise.
Plans for the future
The l’Acadie MNA, who was first elected on September 25, 1989, will
remain in his position until the dissolution of the National
Assembly. Then, he hopes to have a few months of freedom and
pleasure.
"I will have time to do activities, to travel which I put off, and
being more available to my family," said Bordeleau, who is father of
two children and grandfather of four.

Bordeleau does not plan on remaining inactive for long. He will
however have a certain period to become accustomed to his new
freedom, without professional obligation. "It is clear that I will
not sit at home with nothing to do," he said. "I could turn to
teaching, to writing, to sit on a board of directors or to become a
consultant."
Fighting prejudice
In addition, the MNA expressed an important wish for the future of
Quebec before retiring, that is to develop the image of politicians.
"I deeply regret that the work of MNAs is not better appreciated and
is not judged more objectively, because they deserve certainly a more
equitable treatment and a respect of the population in general," he
said.
Bordeleau is disappointed about the perceptions which people have of
politics. He feels that the negative image conveyed towards
politicians is detrimental to the recruitment of candidates. "It will
be very difficult in the future to attract citizens to assume
demanding political responsibilities, which is however fundamental
for the life of our democracy, that we too often take for granted,"
he said.

Bordeleau recalls that, two days after the advertisement of his
candidacy in politics, the word gangster was written on one of his
electoral signs. "The general public however did not know me, because
I was the director of the psychology department of the University of
Montreal at the time," said Bordeleau as he illustrated the contempt
and cynicism which still exists today. "As a candidate, I was the
same person, with the same values, but I was identified with
gangsters."

Bordeleau also feels that the stereotype that politicians are only
visible in election campaign forms part of the prejudices that are
baseless. His solution is to make known the work in the district and
the parliamentary role of MNAs, the tasks which he describes as
"diversified and demanding." Despite everything, he is grateful
towards his voters, who allowed him to live an "enriching experience"
in this particular setting, where one must convince people, while
being realistic and persevering.

Bordeleau finds it difficult to leave colleagues with whom he
developed bonds of friendship with the passing of years. He dedicates
much admiration to Liberal Prime Ministers whom he worked with,
namely Robert Bourassa, Daniel Johnson Jr. and Jean Charest, "for the
sacrifices which this function requires". He also pays homage to
Claude Ryan, "an exceptional person to whom I was very close and who
taught me a lot," the l’Acadie MNA said.
Political legacy
Of his own consent, Yvan Bordeleau leaves with the feeling of
accomplishment, having succeeded in answering many different needs.
"My only promise was to do the utmost to help people," he said. "I
think that it was a good way of working. At least, I believe that in
general people of the district appreciated my approach, since they
attested to their confidence in me with four elections."
Among his achievements, the MNA is proud of the bill recognizing the
Armenian genocide. "It was not easy to carry out," said Bordeleau.
"The subject was delicate and there was a certain opposition from
Turkey."

He also notes his participation in the arrival of Technoparc Saint-
Laurent. "At the time, Robert Bourassa had asked me to take charge of
this bill," he said. "One now notes the important place of this
industrial sector in the Quebec economy."

To succeed him, he wishes for a person to be as present, close and
available as he was for citizens. He also foresees challenge in the
revitalization of the Chabanel sector into a more modern area with
fewer dwellings. Only the future will say if its vision will be
carried out. (Translated by Michael Beigleman)

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