SAINT ALPHONSE, N.S. - Municipality of Clare resident Jason Deveau will be seeking the Liberal nomination in West Nova for the upcoming 2019 federal election.
Deveau, a former policy analyst with the federal government, is currently executive assistant to West Nova MP Colin Fraser who has announced he will not reoffer.
As a policy analyst, Deveau worked with senior government officials on a range of files relating to the environment, natural resources, and sustainable development.
“If elected, I vow to be a strong and forceful voice for all communities throughout West Nova, from Waterville to Pubnico,” he said in a media release, “and will ensure that our rural concerns are heard loudly and clearly in the halls of political power in Ottawa.”
He said growing the rural economy of West Nova is a top priority and believes there must be a continued and sustained effort to protect current jobs in the region, while creating new opportunities to retain and attract young people who are increasingly drawn to other parts of the country.
Deveau said some of the key investments required for growing the rural West Nova economy include connecting all communities to high-speed Internet, ensuring additional funding is secured for ports and small craft harbours, investing in recreational infrastructure to keep communities active and healthy, and completing the long-overdue Highway 101 project between Digby and Weymouth.
Deveau said in an interview his motivation to seek the nomination, and to ultimately serve as Member of Parliament, is simple – to help people.
“There’s still a lot of work that needs to get done,” he said. “The past few years of the Liberal government we have seen many improvements in our riding, whether you look at investments like the child tax benefit or the GIS for seniors, but there are still some people hurting in this riding. It’s not that everything is rosy in every household. So our work is not done.”
Deveau said he worked in the federal bureaucracy as a policy analyst and for the past few years working with Fraser he’s learned how to get things done politically. That combination gives him a unique skill set to improve lives.
“Certainly for anyone who wants to seek political office, I hope that that’s the answer they would give you, that they’re running for the right reasons – to make things better,” said Deveau. “I can say, for example, when I look even at my neighbours where I live, some of them are seniors who don’t have pensions, who are single, and they have to shut half of their house up for the winter and pretty much live and sleep in the kitchen and living room because that’s where the wood stove is.”
He said it’s for those most vulnerable in society he believes he has something to offer to better their lives.
“Because I don’t think in a country like Canada that anyone should have to be huddled around the wood stove in their kitchen and close their whole house down because they simply can’t afford (to heat) it,” he said.
He said he recognizes the Liberal government’s efforts to improve the lives of families, seniors, and all Canadians.
Deveau said the new Canada Child Benefit is helping more than 13,000 families in West Nova by providing them up to $6,500 a year per child tax-free.
Restoring the eligibility age to receive Old Age Security from 67 to 65 and increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement by up to 10 per cent for single seniors helps ensure vulnerable seniors do not face higher risks of living in poverty, he said.
In addition, he said, by lowering the personal income tax rate for middle class Canadians from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent, and the small business tax rate from 11 per cent to nine per cent, more money is staying in the pockets of hard-working Nova Scotians.
Deveau describes himself as a proud Acadian and is fluently bilingual in French and English, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography as well as a Master of Geography degree, both from the University of Ottawa. He has also served as a volunteer on the board of directors for several community-based not-for-profit organizations.
“While many people in West Nova are feeling better off financially than they did three years ago, our work is not done until every person has a fair and equal chance at success and a dignified retirement.”
Deveau lives in Saint Alphonse, the community in which he was raised.