Prospects for the federal election
The NDP is currently at its lowest level of popularity since its meteoric rise in 2011, when the party won 103 seats, including 59 in Québec, with nearly 31 per cent of the vote. Ambushed by Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe in 2015 on the issue of identity and the wearing of the niqab, Mulcair lost his lead and began his decline. Trudeau overtook the NDP on its left by promising to increase investment and maintain the deficit. The NDP ended with 19.71 per cent of the vote and 44 seats, including 16 in Québec.
Québec solidaire’s hard-fought win against the current
The rise of Québec solidaire was in some sense historically ordained, although we didn’t realize to what extent. We kept hoping and working to make it happen. The political process is not a linear one. There comes a time when the parties that have dominated the political stage no longer meet the demands of the moment or are unable to stem the tide of social forces. This is what happened to the Parti Québécois, which lost all credibility, and to the corrupt Québec Liberal Party.
The real opposition in Québec
In the last 40 years, rather than taking the lead in social struggles, the labour movement has been mostly on the defensive. One of the most critical challenges for QS is to generate enthusiasm, hope and active support for a renewed left political project among the union rank and file as well as all the other forces of social transformation, while avoiding the pitfalls of its own growing success – all this while mounting a fierce and compelling opposition to a right-wing government bent on sapping what remains of Québec’s social state after decades of neoliberal corrosion.
The rise of the Right and the challenge of building a Left alternative
Europe and North America had been relatively sheltered from the crisis until recently, mainly because of their position of dominance vis-à-vis the global south, gained through economic exploitation and militaristic policies, with the U.S. leading the way and Canada following. The resulting permanent environmental and economic crises have now reached our shores. The lasting recession that has taken hold in Europe, and the United States is now knocking at our door, both in Canada and Québec.
Bill C-27 pension reform: an unprecedented attack on all
On October 19, 2016, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled Bill C-27, taking aim at the Pensions Benefits Standards Act governing pension plans in workplaces under federal jurisdiction: crown corporations, air and rail transportation, telecommunications and banks. The proposed new legislation allows employers under federal jurisdiction to convert defined-benefit pension plans to target-benefit plans, which essentially means dumping safe pension plans for risky ones.
National Struggle and Class Struggle in Catalonia and Quebec: Complementary or Contradictory?
The fight for control of our national fate, our resources, our environment and our industry cannot be successful without challenging the control by the ruling classes. That inevitably means looking beyond Quebec’s borders and calling on the working people in the rest of Canada to support our fight for social justice against the equally inevitable intervention of the Canadian state and its financial institutions.
Québec solidaire gains ground
The PQ has outlived its “best before” date. It no longer has anything to offer other than an appeal to defeat the (admittedly heinous) Liberal government of Philippe Couillard. Meanwhile Québec solidaire is gaining ground. It now has 15,000 members, including 5,000 who have joined since Gabriel came aboard. It is becoming the party of unity and hope for enlightened voters in Québec.
Québecers mobilize against intolerance and exclusion
The testimony gathered by media covering the January shooting at a Québec City mosque brings to light a somber situation. According to a representative of that city’s Muslim community, many no longer go to mosques for fear of being identified, while some women have stopped wearing hijabs, hiding their faith for fear of being fired from their jobs. (As one of them put it, “It’s enough that I am black; that is something I cannot hide.”)
The Québec Spring and the Ambiguous Role of Québec’s Union Movement
The strength and determination of Québec’s student movement against tuition fee hikes can only be accounted for by a number of factors that have contributed to radicalizing the protest and politicizing the conflict. The movement has taken on the scope and scale it has due to a deep feeling of discontent that has been building for some time within Québec society.
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