The People of Quebec Must Establish
Themselves as the Public Authority
• The People of Quebec Must Establish
Themselves as the
• Bill 10 Sanctioned Through Closure: a Despicable
• Demonstrations Against Bill 10
The People in Action
• Excellent Day of Action in Quebec City
• Upcoming Actions
The People of Quebec Must Establish
Themselves as the Public Authority
Bill 10 Sanctioned Through Closure: a Despicable Act
of the National Assembly to a
special session on Friday, February 6th to force passage of Bill 10, An
Act to modify the organization and governance of the health and social
services network, in particular by abolishing the regional agencies, in
order to invoke closure. Formally, the National Assembly was to resume
sitting only on 10 February.
25, 2014 and was strongly opposed by
everyone involved in health care: doctors, nurses, administrators,
health care professionals, user-associations and many municipalities
across Quebec, particularly the regions. This opposition continued
without let-up and took the form of press releases issued by various
organizations while throughout the 67 hours of hearings held by the
Committee on Health and Social Services to study the bill, it was rare
indeed that anyone expressed any support for it.
care system and gives the Minister
exceptional powers to do so, is to be complemented by two other major
bills that the government intends to pass quickly: Bill 20, An Act to enact the Act to promote access
to family medicine and specialized medicine services and to amend
various legislative provisions relating to assisted procreation,
and Bill 28, An Act mainly to
implement certain provisions of the Budget Speech of 4 June 2014 and
return to a balanced budget in 2015-2016.
government's neoliberal and anti-social
agenda in the health sector is proof that these measures have nothing
to do with the needs of the people. Quebecers are calling for a modern,
public health care system, which a modern society is capable of
offering. To subject the right to health care to an austerity program
is a despicable act and a disregard for the people's right to decide.
through laws that the government wants
passed exposes the bankruptcy of the system of representative democracy
where the parliamentary opposition is supposed to counterbalance the
ruling party's arbitrariness. "Democracy is a question of
representation, and from the moment you sit in the Blue Room, it is
necessary to move things forward," said Minister of Health
Gaétan Barrette to justify invoking closure. "It's normal that
we study a bill, but it is not normal that we study it for such a long
time," said the Liberal whip Jean-Marc Fournier.
the National Assembly and all the
parties it comprises is once again the tool used to pass this
destructive bill. The Couillard government's use of closure and
Minister Barrette's open arrogance toward all those involved in the
health care sector must be denounced with the contempt they deserve.
many protests against the Couillard
government's austerity agenda.
Montreal November 9, 2014
Demonstrations Against Bill 10
cold on February 9 to protest in
front of Philippe Couillard's offices. For over an hour they loudly
opposition to Couillard's policies in public education and reaffirmed
their determination to defend their demands regarding their working
conditions and pay. They firmly denounced the imposition of Bill 10
autonome des enseignants (FAE), closed
the event by saying, "Although we have expressed dissatisfaction over
the past weeks, the government persists with its austerity agenda!
[...] We will continue to denounce the austerity policies and express
our anger at the contemptuous employer proposals tabled in December as
part of the renewal of our collective agreement."
workers held a vigil outside the
National Assembly in Quebec City to denounce the passing of Bill 10
through closure. The law concentrates decision-making powers in the
health care system in the hands of the Minister to abolish regional
health agencies, reducing the number of network facilities from 182 to
33, whose boards are appointed by the Minister and may be removed by
him. The workers proudly represented the thousands of people in Quebec
who oppose the bill. "This is an all out attack on our public health
care and social services system. By complicating things rather than
addressing the underlying problems the government is promoting
privatization. We built that public network for more than 50 years. We
must raise our voices to defend it!" said Jean Lacharité of the
Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN).
interprofessionnelle de la
santé du Québec (FIQ),
Régine Laurent said, "This is a sad day for our health care
system and for democracy in Quebec. First, because our health network
is seeing structural reforms imposed that further damage it and that
don't not even improve access and quality of health care for Quebecers.
Second, because we have a government that shamelessly fundamentally
revamps it's largest ministry, which alone accounts for nearly half of
the Quebec government's budget, by suspending the rules of the National
Assembly and muzzling the democratic debate."
des syndicats du Québec (CSQ)
said, "What is the urgency to act with such a reform? The only urgency
for the Couillard government to implement its zero deficit ideology at
all cost. Such a reform should have as its only aim to improve care and
health services to the public. Not to reduce the role of the state.
This government was not elected for that purpose."
have taken years to build – the Quebec
model – in favour of extreme centralization of power which will give no
additional service to the public," said the President of the Canadian
Union of Public Employees (CUPE-Québec), Lucie Levasseur.
be achieved by muzzling everyone and
taking shortcuts," said Diane Francoeur, President of the
Fédération des médecins spécialistes du
Québec, adding "people who work in the
health care network cannot all be wrong."
giving a blank check to someone who gives
themselves unlimited powers and does so by gagging the National
Assembly," added Louis Godin, President of the Fédération
des omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ).
Abitibi-Témiscamingue held several
protests against the Couillard government's austerity agenda. According
to organizers, the coalition Touche
pas à ma région,
nearly 5,000 people attended, about 1 in 30 residents in the area.
There were actions in the four regional county municipalities including
Abitibi, Abitibi-Ouest, Témiscamingue and Vallée-de-l'Or,
as well as the municipal regional council-city of Rouyn-Noranda and in
other several cities, including Ville-Marie, Val d'Or, Amos, La Sarre
especially the cuts in education, the antisocial restructuring of the
health care system and the abolition of or funding cuts to such
organizations as the regional conference of elected officials, regional
health care agencies, local development centres, youth centres and
others. They surrounded educational, health care and community
institutions and said that they need these institutions for services to
the public and that the Couillard government has no business scrapping
them in complete disregard of the opinions of those who live
the human consciousness of the people of the
region," Donald Rheault, Chairman of the CSN central council for
Abitibi-Témiscamingue-Nord-du-Québec told Chantier
politique. "The people are saying this is not how we want to
our region. We want to be able to develop it ourselves. In terms of
education, for example, we posses all educational services up to the
university and they have just cut the budgets of the university and
colleges, there are fewer programs. With fewer programs the youth will
leave to go to programs that exist in the city centres. We had created
organizations in the region to attract these youth. These organizations
no longer exist. This will have a negative effect on the population."
à ma région was set up in several regions of
to unite people and organizations from all backgrounds in opposition to
the Couillard government's austerity agenda.
The People in Action
Excellent Day of Action in Quebec City
February 12, 2015
was held in Quebec City as part of a day
of action against the Couillard government's austerity agenda, followed
by a protest in the late afternoon in front of the National Assembly.
Organized by the collective "Refusons l'austerité," about one
thousand people participated including unionized workers in the public
and private sectors, representatives of pensioners' associations,
community organizations, student associations, all in the present
struggle to defeat the government's anti-social austerity agenda. The
day included presentations on the nature of the austerity agenda,
interventions on the impacts of the attacks on living and working
conditions and quality of services, the reading of a draft statement, a
discussion on the continuation of actions in the coming period and the
fraud committed in the name of restoring
prosperity was very present in the minds of the participants. Several
speakers said that by impoverishing the people and cutting services the
austerity agenda is an attack against the economy. "Cutting services,
slashing pensions, layoffs -- doesn't that disrupt the economy?" asked
a worker. The fact that Premier Couillard has no mandate to impose
austerity on the people was also a much-discussed topic. "He was
elected under false pretences and with false promises," said one
worker. "He lied about pensions and he is lying about austerity," said
calls for an end to austerity measures and
proposes the adoption of a sustainable development policy that will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and social inequalities, as well as
promote regional development and quality jobs. The draft statement also
calls for a review of the tax system aimed at ensuring adequate funding
for public services and social programs through greater business
participation in State funding.
the coming period to increase the
pressure on the government to abandon its anti-social path.
then held a lively protest outside the
Following the rally against the austerity agenda in
Quebec City on February 12, the following actions were announced:
February 22 to 27
Week of Protest: Fight Against Austerity!
February 28 -- Montréal
Demonstration Against Cuts in Education
Organized by the Quebec
Federation of University Students (FEUQ)
March 8, International Women's Day
"Women March for Equality, Solidarity Against
Activities around the launch of the World March of Women
April 2 --
No to Another Austerity Budget!
l'Association pour une Solidarité syndicale
April 11 -- Quebec City
Demonstration for meeting of Council of the Federation
on the Effects of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
May First, International Day of Unity
and of the Struggle of the Working Class
Quebec Against Austerity
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