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Quebec: On Apr. 3 fight austerity, fight for socialism!

asse demo 3apr2014In reaction to the last budget put forward by the Parti Quebecois, the Association for Student Union Solidarity (ASSE) has decided to take to the street in opposition to the austerity measures being proposed. This will take place in the form of a national demonstration on April 3 at 2pm, at Place Emilie-Gamelin in downtown Montreal.

 

Quebec elections 2014: Defeat austerity and the charter!

quebec election marois peladeauJust 18 months since the last election, voters in Quebec will once again head to the polls on Apr. 7. With a weak minority government and a parliament that has been deadlocked on pretty much everything, the Parti Québécois is looking to secure that majority government they failed to obtain in the fall of 2012. The PQ’s support has increased by about ten percentage points in less than a year, making this goal a possibility. But what does this election mean for workers and youth in Quebec today?

 

Capitalism is corrupt; Projet Montreal must fight the bosses

Municipal elections across Quebec are coming up at the beginning of November, following a roller coaster ride of scandal and corruption for municipal elections across the province. In Montreal, mayor Gérald Tremblay and his successor, Michael Applebaum, were both forced to resign in the past 12 months on charges of corruption and ties to the Mafia. This opens up large possibilities for Projet Montreal, but only if it presents a program that can break with the status quo and addresses the aspirations of workers and youth of today. Projet Montreal cannot fight the bosses’ corruption without fighting for the interests of workers and youth.

The grand distraction: The charter of Quebec “values”

After weeks of rumours, the Parti Québécois government has finally released the details of their proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”. According to the PQ government, the charter is needed to continue the traditions established during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, ensuring a proper separation of church and state and defending Quebec society from the dangers of religious indoctrination.  However, for many in Quebec, the charter is correctly seen as an attempt to target ethnic and religious minorities for the crisis that plagues Quebec society, and to set one sector of the working class against the other.

The Lac-Mégantic disaster — Who is to blame?

The train derailment in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic on Friday 5th July has come as a huge shock. With 37 confirmed dead, and another 13 people still missing, this is turning out to be the worst train accident in North America since a 1989 train crash in Mexico, which left 112 dead and a further 200 injured. Anguish and grief has started to turn into anger as people are learning the reasons for the accident — massive cutbacks in railways and the particularly callous remarks of the CEO of Rail World Inc., Ed Burkhardt. The Lac-Mégantic disaster shows how, in the present period, capitalism is killing us.

Police repression returns to the streets of Montreal

In the past couple of weeks, hundreds of innocent people have been rounded up by the Montreal police, despite the fact that these individuals committed no crimes. It is very clear that this is only the latest attempt by the state to frighten ordinary workers and youth from demonstrating opposition to the ruling class’ agenda. But, in doing so, they are playing a very dangerous game and risk destroying the veil that is bourgeois democracy.

Quebec education summit is a masquerade: Indexation is not a solution for students

The newly-elected Parti Québécois government called for an education summit, which, unsurprisingly, was met with a cynical mood from the thousands of Quebec students who participated in last spring's student movement. The PQ had already decided before-hand that free education was not to be discussed, and that a tuition increase would be imposed. ASSÉ was correct in calling for a boycott of this charade; the student movement will not be pacified by façades like this!

The austerity of the Parti Québécois and the tasks of Quebec solidaire

For a period of several months last summer, a mass movement shook the province of Quebec. It forced an election where the victorious Parti Québécois felt compelled to present themselves as being on the left — proposing to cancel the tuition increase, abolishing the hated law 78, as well as other progressive measures. In its first budget since the election, the Marois government went back on many of its promises made during the election campaign. Faced with the hypocrisy of the PQ who had put themselves forward as “the progressive option”, the possibility to form a party that can represent the interests of workers and youth is more important than ever before. For the left-wing party, Quebec solidaire, the potential for success is greater than it has ever been. But, how can Quebec solidaire take advantage of the present situation and build a real alternative for the workers who search for a way to combat the austerity being forced upon them?

2012/13 Quebec budget: The PQ reveal their true colours

Last week the newly elected Parti Québécois government tabled their first budget since taking power. Finance minister Nicolas Marceau vowed to “balance the books” and “cut spending” in what is a clear austerity budget. Within an extremely short period since being elected, the PQ has now shown their true colours as a party subservient to Quebec big business, in line with the general austerity plan of the recently ousted Liberal Party. This marks a hard lesson for those students and workers who voted for the PQ in order to kick out the Liberals.

Quebec election 2012: Jean Charest defeated, victory for the students!

For seven long months, Quebec students waged a valiant battle on the streets against the Liberal government’s tuition hikes and undemocratic laws. Former premier Jean Charest called the election as a referendum on who runs society — was it the students and the “street”, or was it the government and the so-called “silent majority”? The results of this election show a complete rejection of the Liberal agenda and in many ways, represents a real victory for the student movement.