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Pierre Dostie

  • Quebec Schools Must Be Secular and Public

    Quebec premier Jean Charest put his foot in his mouth in January when he announced – and one week later, after public outcry, retracted – that the government would give full public financing to private Jewish schools. This mini-crisis around a decision taken on the sly demonstrated once more that Charest scorns democratic process and also shows a disturbing lack of understanding of Quebec society. Hoping to slip this past the population, Charest instead revived a fundamental debate. In the next few months, Quebeckers may finally show their readiness to remove the last obstacle to the complete secularization of public schools.

  • Jean Charest’s Latest Deception

    In response to opposition from many sectors of the population to his project of “re-engineering” (i.e. dismantling) the state, Jean Charest’s ultra-conservative government is changing its tune. It is now wrapping its neoliberal policies in talk about sustainable development, imitating an approach mastered by the previous PQ government. It is therefore not surprising that the only real opposition is extra-parliamentary.

  • Quebec’s National Question

    Nine years after the 1995 referendum and the numbness that followed it, Québec is returning to the debate on the national question. The sovereignty movement has never been a monolithic block behind the PQ. Support for sovereignty (around 45 per cent, according to the latest polls) cuts across political positions from right to left. In such a context, a wide debate on strategy is necessary, a debate that could have repercussions on the next electoral campaign, expected in 2007.

  • Québec Communique

    Only two years after the founding of the Union des forces progressistes, the Québec Left has entered into a new phase of development. On the electoral scene and in the street, the UFP is a present and credible actor. Meanwhile, a new political club, Trade Unionists for a Free Québec (Syndicalistes pour un Québec libre - SPQL) is attempting to use their involvement with the Parti québécois to pull it to the left. Finally, a new political movement, Option citoyenne, led by feminist activist Françoise David and social housing activist François Saillant, is proposing nothing less than the unity of all left forces into a single party by Spring 2005. The coming year will be an important one for the Québec Left.

  • One Year of Charest

    A year after its election, the ultra-conservative government of Jean Charest is facing a level of unpopularity proportionate to the arrogance and insensitivity it has demonstrated through its dismantling of the Québécois state. In an effort to spruce up its image, the Charest government is undergoing a vast cosmetic operation to explain its policies to people through regional forums. Faced with such a masquerade, general mobilization in the streets remains the most appropriate way for people to make themselves heard. Why go and sit in front of Charest’s ministers, who will only pretend to listen to us?

  • The Scandal

    The better part of 250 million dollars of our tax-payer dollars has flowed through the Federal Government Sponsorship funds into the grubby hands of Liberal Party of Canada public relations firms in Québec during a period of 4 years, from 1997 to 2001.

  • The Charest Factor

    It is an inescapable fact that, since the 1995 referendum, Québec politics have been dominated by two of Brian Mulroney’s former cabinet ministers. The first, Lucien Bouchard, made his way to the top post of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to replace the fallen Jacques Parizeau. The second, Jean Charest, a much younger politician, was pushed to the head of the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) by the federal Liberals in order to fill the void left by the dull and uncharismatic Daniel Johnson Jr.

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