Soraya Martinez Ferrada, the “girl from the east”

Soraya Martinez Ferrada, the “girl from the east”

“People have struggled with the cost of living and inflation” in 2022, estimates the federal deputy for Hochelaga, Soraya Martinez Ferrada. However, this “tough” year is far from discouraging the eternal optimist, who intends to carry out major projects in 2023.

Métromet with the elected Liberal in her constituency office to discuss housing, the environment, health and other priority issues for Hochelaga and the east of the island.

“Getting around, grocery shopping, activities for children… Everything has become difficult”, she lists.

The member says she is proud that her government has implemented public policies to ease the burden on taxpayers. She cites as examples the allowance for low-income tenants, the double credit for GST and dental insurance for children under 12.

It has a direct impact on the people back home, here in Hochelaga.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

For an inclusive transformation in Hochelaga

Soraya Martinez Ferrada moved near the Joliette metro station in 1980, after fleeing the Chilean dictatorship with her mother and brother. She is therefore well placed to observe the transformation that Hochelaga, a historically working-class district, is going through.

Gentrification is a “huge challenge”, observes the one who was elected for the first time in 2019.< /p>

“Development is inevitable,” she says. But we have to make sure we keep people at home.”

To do this, it is necessary to encourage access to ownership, in particular by putting in place measures to facilitate savings, as well as equity sharing programs that allow the transition from renter to owner in the same dwelling, affirms Soraya Martinez Ferrada.

The MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing also welcomes the agreement between Ottawa, the City of Montreal and the Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), which provides for financing of $69 million to rehabilitate affordable housing. “We are talking about 5,000 housing units in Montreal alone. It’s a huge announcement,” she rejoices.

In addition, the elected official underlines the strength of the social safety net in Hochelaga. The riding is one of those with the most community organizations per square foot, she said.

It's a united, committed community. It hasn't changed, and, honestly, it won't.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

A local MP

The one who previously worked in the community sector and in municipal politics wants to keep a local anchor, even if she now works mainly with national policies decided in Ottawa.

“As a federal MP, I have given myself the challenge to do politics the same way I did municipal politics,” explains Soraya Martinez Ferrada.

Several citizens in her riding have her cell phone number and contact her directly by text messaging, illustrates- she.

It is one of my greatest achievements to have been able to maintain this relational closeness with the people of my neighborhood.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

Defining herself as a “girl from the east de Montréal”, an area she has lived in practically all her life, the development of which is at the top of her list of priorities.

A summit on the economic development of the East will be held in 2023, rejoices the politician, who had made it an electoral commitment. She also notes that since 2021, the east end of Montreal has been expressly mentioned in federal budgets and “is an integral part of them”.

All is not rosy, however.

“People in the east of the island, their rate of living is lower than anywhere else in Quebec […] They die younger.”

Soraya Martinez Ferrada believes in efforts to improve the quality of life and greening in the area, despite controversial projects such as the Ray-Mont Logistiques transshipment platform or the extension of boulevard de l'Assomption through the Steinberg woods. .

“We are going in the right direction,” she says. The MNA for Hochelaga pleads for a certain patience, as the results can take time to be visible, particularly with regard to the planting of trees.

Mental health abused

Soraya Martinez Ferrada worries about the deterioration of our mental health during the pandemic. “We are more anxious, we are less patient, we have experienced a lot of loneliness,” she notes.

She welcomes the creation of the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions as well as the granting $270 million from the federal government in Quebec to improve home care, mental health care and the fight against addiction.

In addition, the former city councilor hopes that Ottawa and the provinces will be able to work together to solve the crisis that is plaguing emergency rooms across the country. The Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital, which is in her riding, is particularly affected.

National health standards are desirable, according to the politician. “This is not a disavowal of the capacity of the provinces, but we want to ensure that people have the service they deserve”, wherever they are in the country, she specifies.

Waiting for 2023

Very talkative, the one who is in her second term obviously still has the sacred fire. The MNA confirms that she will run again in the next election.

The arrival of Pierre Poilievre at the head of the Conservative Party of Canada reminded her why she initially got into municipal politics.

I will fight so that a conservative government does not return to power. It would be catastrophic. For the environment, for health […] for women in general.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

You can't blame her for mincing words. The table is set for 2023.

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