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Privatizing Quebec health care: Public-private partnerships and Montreal's "super-hospitals"

It was almost 20 years ago that the story of the Montreal super-hospital began. In 1993, five hospitals came together and decided that it would be more economical to merge their facilities into a 1,100-bed “super-hospital,” which would replace aging facilities in scattered locations with a central, convenient, and state of the art institution. The plan was a straightforward one, which aside from providing better health care, also aimed to save the province money, while increasing patient services. Two decades later, there is still no hospital, and instead of providing the people of Quebec with better, more accessible health care, the hospital has turned into another weapon to make free health coverage a thing of the past.

Crisis in Quebec society: Which way forward for Quebec solidaire?

Joel Bergman from La Riposte, the journal of the Tendance Marxiste Internationale , an official collective within Quebec solidaire, has written this article analyzing the current state of crisis that exists within Quebec society, and the need for a workers' party to emerge in Quebec.  The situation is very favourable for Quebec solidaire (QS) to become that party. The Quebec Marxists will be participating at the QS congress at the end of March and we wish them the greatest success.

6,000 march through Montreal in support of Tunisian uprising

In Montreal, the Marxists participated in a solidarity march on Saturday the 15th which had been called before the dictator fled the country. Called to protest the clampdown against the demonstrations, the march became a celebration of the cowardly flight of Ben Ali, and a protest to demand that his son-in-law not be allowed to take up residence in his $2.5 million mansion in a rich neighbourhood of Montreal.

The Quebec right sharpens their axe

“We need to elect a government that will swing the axe,” declared Mr. Duhaime, a former aide to the ADQ’s Mario Dumont and the co-founder of the Réseau Liberté-Québec (Quebec Freedom Network). The RLQ, launched in September, presents itself to be a “non-profit organization designed to network all Quebeckers who share the ideals of individual freedom and responsibility.” Delving deeper than this rosy proclamation, the RLQ is clearly just another push from the Right to create a viable capitalist alternative to the hated Liberals. This is needed in order to brutally push forward the austerity measures necessary to save the capitalist system, and to dismantle all of the gains made by the working class over the last half-century.

For a true Quebec solidaire, fight for socialism!

Quebec solidaire has issued a call for platforms in the lead-up to the party’s congress. They propose discussing these platforms in a series of citizen circles. The two following documents have been submitted by the International Marxist Tendency (Quebec) , a recognized collective within QS. Fightback works in solidarity with IMT Quebec, and wish our comrades success in promoting a revolutionary internationalist perspective in Quebec.

A sad end to the Quebec Common Front

On 24th June, it was announced that a “historic” agreement had been reached between the Quebec government and the recently formed Common Front of public sector unions, which represents nearly half a million workers in the province. The agreement that was reached threw out the demands that were democratically ratified by the trade union movement and accepted what is, for all intents and purposes, the very same counter-proposal offered by the Charest government at the beginning of negotiations. After years of imposed contracts that enforced degrading work conditions, obligatory overtime, and stagnating wages, the hope of a united opposition by the unions in Quebec against the government's austerity measures have been lost.

Quebec budget 2010: The capitalists declare war

The recent Quebec provincial budget represents a generalized attack against the working class and an attempt to use the crisis as an excuse to wipe out the historic social gains of the Quebec masses. The measures announced range from tuition increases to the abolition of free healthcare. What is needed is a response from the labour leaders; we cannot afford to allow these attacks against our standards of living.

The Cultural (Counter) Revolution in Quebec

This past February, Raymond Bachand, Quebec's finance minister, announced that Quebec was in need of a "cultural revolution." The ministry released a report that calculated that Quebec has one of the most indebted economies in the industrialized world. Quebec's $285.6-billion debt is equal to 94.6% of the province's GDP; only Japan, Italy, Greece, and Iceland have a larger debt-to-GDP ratio than Quebec. This proposed "cultural revolution" is an attempt to prepare Quebec workers and students to accept cuts to social spending on a level unseen in Quebec history.

12,000 March Against the Quebec Budget: “The wealth exists! Take it from where it is!”

One day after Quebec finance minister Raymond Bachand tabled the 2010 budget, some 12,000 people gathered at Square Phillips in Montreal to show their opposition to the budget. At least 40 buses from all over Quebec, some from as far away as Gaspé, arrived at the square. This impressive show of strength, happened just two weeks after the massive 75,000 Common Front demonstration, is a sign of the militant mood amongst Quebec workers against the bosses’ planned cuts and attacks.

Montreal's bourgeois parties linked to the mafia, workers need their own party

Municipal elections were held across Quebec on 1st November 2009. The results in Montreal are a further proof of the crisis of the bourgeois parties which has already been exposed at the federal and provincial level. The elections were plagued by accusations of corruption and mafia ties amongst the two main parties, Union Montréal and Vision Montréal. Projet Montréal, a fledgling left party, made historic gains. What is needed now is for the party to transform itself into a labour party, winning over the workers by making reforms that benefit workers, such as free public transportation, their central slogan.

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