Members of the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce were up bright and Early yesterday for a breakfast meeting with Compton-Stanstead MP and Minister of International Development and Le Francophonie Marie Claude Bibeau to learn about the impacts of the federal budget on the region. Dubbed a budget of ‘Growth and Equality,” an emphasis was put on the equal participation of women in the job market. “It’s not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do,” Bibeau explained, during the opening of her speech. Bibeau’s address began with an explanation of social justice and anti-poverty programs, referencing Habitations Hestia in Coaticook building 20 new housing units for people with physical handicaps and 18 apartments under construction in Lennoxville for youth with mental health issues through the Mon Shack, mes choix, mon avenir organization. While pointing out that the businesses and organizations at yesterday’s meeting might not be touched directly by investments targeting the most vulnerable members of the community, Bibeau said that funding for social programs, in the long run, would stimulate the local economy. See full story in the Thursday, March 15th edition of The Record.