Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/9/2015 (1618 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
For Saint Boniface-Saint Vital candidate François Catellier, you might say politics is in his blood.
The 57-year-old Conservative candidate grew up in a political household, with a father, Gabriel, who served as a municipal councillor for 23 years in the RM of De Salaberry.
"It’s really not an easy job. A lot of people think that politicians do it for all kinds of reasons, but having seen my dad in action, many of them do it because they genuinely want to make a difference in their community and they want to leave a legacy," he said.
"I was considering being involved in politics for quite a few years but I wanted to pick up some expertise on the business side and also I wanted to see things advancing on the family side before I would take on a challenge like this."
Catellier did gain experience on both fronts. As a family man, he is a father to three children as well as a grandfather to two grandsons — with another grandbaby on the way.
"The reason I’m running as a Conservative is I totally believe in recognizing the importance of young families with children. I like what they have for child credit programs. I like what they have for tax breaks for the young families," he said.
"I also like the tax-free savings accounts, which anyone across the board can have access to. For the younger generation, to me it’s a way of learning how to save money."
On the business side, he used to work for a couple of national associations — the Canadian Special Crops Association and the Canola Council of Canada — that required extensive international travel. Then 20 years ago, he started his own consulting company, Golden Meadow International Inc. Between both positions, he travelled to about 35 countries around the world, as well as across Canada.
These international business experiences have given him a deeper appreciation for his own country.
"I’ve been to places where the Canadian embassy wouldn’t even let me take a taxi from the airport to the hotel because things were so dangerous. You come back home and it makes you appreciate Canada," he said.
"We need to continue to strive to keep those values and those freedoms. That’s the reason why a lot of people are attracted to Canada."
Catellier has spent more than 31 years living in the St. Boniface-St. Vital area over his lifetime, in addition to spending 18 years in St. Malo where he raised his family. While he lived in St. Malo, he was president of both the minor hockey association and the chamber of commerce. He has also always been active in his church, currently serving on the executive committee as well as on the Knights of Columbus.
Although he’s busy on the campaign trail, he still sets aside time to spend with his family and to acknowledge the hard work of his supporters.
"Once a week, I try to go for lunch with my dad, who has been like my mentor. I like to touch base with him to recharge my batteries," Cattelier said.
"I also have to recognize that we have a tremendous team for this campaign. We have some very talented people stepping up to the plate but also the average citizen who wants to make a difference. I am very pleased with the volunteers that are coming up."
Catellier is up against Dan Vandal (Lib), Erin Selby (NDP) and Glenn Zaretski (Green) in the race for the riding.