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Quebec: Big struggles coming against new CAQ government

Francois Legault (Photo Credit: PAUL CHIASSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the Oct. 1 elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarized on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

58,000 students strike against unpaid internships in Québec

On the morning of Monday, Nov. 19, more than 55,000 university and Cégep students in Québec marched out of class in protest against unpaid internships. The central demand of the strike is for internships to be paid like any other job. Many of these internships are mandatory and take up hundreds of hours per semester, for which students receive zero pay. This week marked the breaking point for Québec students, who braved the snow and ice to send a message to the government and university administrations that they would not be slaves any more!

Thousands protest against racism and the CAQ in Montréal

Manif 7 octobre 2018On October 7, thousands of people gathered in downtown Montréal to march against racism and the newly elected CAQ government. The demonstration brought out a large number of immigrant families, grandparents and children included, all of whom were shocked by the election of the anti-immigrant government. La Riposte socialiste organized the socialist contingent of over 60 activists on the march.

Polarization in Quebec as CAQ wins majority and QS advances

François LegaultThe Quebec election this past Monday marked the end of an era. Support for the establishment parties, the PQ and the Liberals, collapsed to its lowest point on record. The main benefactor is the right-wing CAQ which swept dozens of ridings and will now form a majority government. But the vote was also polarized to the left, with Quebec solidaire more than doubling their vote share and going from three seats to 10. This unprecedented situation opens up a new period of class struggle against the CAQ government.

PQ establishment panics as QS surges

nullWith a few days to go till voting day, the increasing support for the left-wing Quebec solidaire has provoked a wave of panic in the camp of the Parti Quebecois and the establishment media. Obtaining just 7.6 per cent of the vote in the 2014 election, the party has now risen to 16-19 per cent in the latest polls. Faced with this threat, PQ leader, Jean-François Lisée and the media have launched a hysterical campaign of red-baiting and slanders against QS, accusing them of being “Marxist” and “anti-capitalist.”

Quebec elections 2018: Where is the voice of workers?

Candidates for Quebec general election 2018On Oct. 1, Quebec voters head to the polls. With the right-wing CAQ polling in first place, things are not looking good for the working class. Legault’s “change” will mark an acceleration of the program of gutting social services, attacking unions, and the dismantling of the “Quebec model” established during the Quiet Revolution. Meanwhile, there has been a resurgence of the class struggle this year with big strike votes and several key strikes. This begs the question: Where is the voice of the workers in this election?

Wildcat strike of Quebec crane operators: An example for the labour movement

DgO 9vOU8AEFJ8aOn Monday, June 18th, close to 2,000 crane operators spontaneously walked off of Québec construction sites in a heroic wildcat strike. The workers have struck in spite of the fact that they are currently bound by a collective bargaining agreement. This has paralyzed construction sites as crane operators are critical to many big projects. In taking this bold action, the crane operators are showing the way forward for the labour movement not only in Quebec and Canada, but throughout the whole world.

Fascists intimidate Montreal journalists

Vice Quebec office attacked by members of fascist group Atalante. On Wednesday, May 23, six members of the far-right group Atalante stormed the office of Vice Montreal and harrassed the journalists inside. They were upset that a recent online article from Vice described them as what they are: an ultra-nationalist and racist identitarian organization tied to and modeled after the fascist Soldiers of Odin (SOO) in Finland. The members of Atalante gave a plastic award to the journalists titled “Vice Media Trash 2018”, and then left the building before the police arrived. The police concluded that the harassment was not worth pursuing and that it wouldn’t be a problem in the future. In fact, the mobilization of the far right has become a growing problem in Quebec. The “white-identitarian” nationalist movement, however marginal, is becoming bolder and more outspoken.

Union May Day in Montreal: We need a militant movement!

manif2On Saturday, April 28, between 2-3,000 people attended a union-organized May Day demonstration held in Montreal. The demonstration lasted roughly four hours and consisted of a rally at the Olympic Stadium followed by a march to Parc des Faubourgs where union leaders delivered speeches. Socialist Fightback mobilized a sizable contingent to participate in the demonstration and spread socialist ideas among unionized workers.

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