January 31, 2019
English Edition, No. 2
29, 1947 – January 6, 2019
Quebec Comprador Economy
• Dignity of the Quebec Nation and Its People
New Year Begins with
• ABI and Quebec Workers Mark
of ABI Aluminum Smelter Lockout
• Crane Operators, Allies and
Experts All Say
No! to Irresponsible New
• Health Care Professionals Must Be
Able to Work Safely
in Order to Provide Safe Care to the
- Julie Daignault
• Quebec Government Must Improve
and Prevent Abusive Rent Increases
- Serge Lachapelle
• Social Housing Now!
- FRAPRU Press
• Protestors Say No! to U.S. Coup Attempts Against
• Ninth Commemoration of Earthquake in Haiti
• Montreal Women March in Defence of
Their Rights and The Rights of All
• Project for a New Constitution
in Cuba --
Content and Consultation Process and Adoption
• 10th Benefit for the League of Rights and
It is with great sadness that the Marxist-Leninist Party of
Quebec (PMLQ) informs you that our long-time comrade, Richard
Allard, passed away on Sunday, January 6 at 5:52 am in
Montreal. He died following a long fight with a hereditary and
degenerative disease. We send our warmest thoughts to his partner
Gaétane, his two children and loved ones.
Richard was from the town of Lévis, in the Quebec City
area. He joined the ranks of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist) in the early 1970s and was one of the 52 candidates
it presented Canada-wide during the 1972 federal election, barely two
years after its founding. Richard responded to the Party's call to
break the monopoly of the rich over politics by presenting the
independent politics of the working class on a mass scale. He ran as a
candidate in the riding of Lévis. Richard was known for his work
amongst community organizations, notably in defence of housing as a
right. He contributed to the establishment of the first daycares in the
Quebec City area. Richard was very involved in the work to organize
unorganized public sector workers. He settled in Montreal with his
family, where he worked for Gaz métropolitain for a number of
years, and worked in several other trades, as is the lot of many
Having fidelity to his convictions, Richard never ceased to
support the Party's work in Quebec and in Canada, within the conditions
of his sickness and the suffering he was made to endure. He took a
particular interest in the role that the working class must play in
leading the people in the struggle to end the brutal anti-social
offensive of the rich and their governments, launched in the 1980s.
During the last years of his life, he kept abreast of the Party's work,
in particular its work amongst the youth, on national question and on
issues of war and peace. Until the very end, Richard insisted on being
kept informed of the Party's advances by reading its literature, or by
having it read to him once his sight no longer allowed him to do so on
his own. We salute his fidelity to the workers and the people, as well
as both his own courage and that of his family throughout the
trials of his illness.
A tribute will be rendered to him on the occasion of a
commemorative event to be held on May 1, 2019, Day of International
Working Class Unity and Struggle, as a symbol of his partisanship to
the cause of the working class.
Premier Legault Presents His Vision of a Quebec
Dignity of the Quebec Nation and
Its People Under Attack
official visit to Paris and then on to
Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. In Paris, he met with Prime
Minister Edouard Philippe, President Emmanuel Macron and
representatives of global private interests during a luncheon at the
Paris Stock Exchange. The official theme of the Premier's visit to
Paris and his participation in the Davos Forum was the economy and the
search for private foreign investments.
Europe. For you, we often say that we
Quebeckers, we are halfway: we are a little Latin -- we are not so
Latin, we are very Latin -- but in North America, so American. It was
not easy with Mr. Trump, but we managed to sign a new free trade
agreement with the United States and Mexico. When you invest in Quebec,
you have access to this whole market."
nation and its people not
with their own economy, personality, dignity, thinking and aim but as a
"little Latin," "so American" and facilitators of "access" to the U.S.
and Mexico markets. Could it be that the thinking and outlook of the
political elite have hit a wall, reflecting a Quebec economy that is
ensnarled in supranational control and rivalries, and blocked from
finding its own way in the world?
Couillard in presenting
Quebec as a privileged hub or conduit of trade between the Americas and
Europe. With what one could describe as a comprador vision, Quebec does not stand as a dignified
economic force and people with relations with the big powers and others
based on strength and possibilities for mutual benefit and cooperation.
Instead, Quebec is put in the middle of the increasingly contentious
competition between the United States and the European big powers. This
makes Quebec and its economy a point of manipulation for the benefit of
this or that foreign power and supranational oligopoly.
the global inter-imperialist
contradiction between Boeing headquartered in the United States and
Airbus in France. Within the situation, the pressure mounted on
Bombardier and its political representatives in Quebec and Canada to
integrate more fully with one or the other big power at the expense or
negation of pursuing an independent path.
the U.S. empire and its war
economy, and what he calls the benefits of the revised NAFTA (USMCA),
which allows the big powers of Europe access through Quebec to the U.S.
and Mexico. But embroiling Quebec in supranational rivalry of the
oligopolies and inter-imperialist fights amongst the big and developing
powers does nothing to develop an independent Quebec economy that can
stand on its own. Why would Quebec want to become ensnared in disputes
between the U.S. and Europe or between the U.S. and China for that
matter? The big powers should sort out their relations amongst
themselves without dragging Quebec and Canada into their disputes.
Quebec should stand as a sane voice for cooperation and mutual benefit
amongst all peoples in the world and a beacon for Canada.
political elite's vision of the economy
is caught in the colonial past. They cannot envision a Quebec economy
as mature and developed on the basis of its own resources and people
and serving to enhance their well-being while being independent of the
demands, needs, pressure and fight for control of this or that
oligopoly and big power. The backward outlook of the political elite
represents a refusal to break with Quebec's colonial past be it the
control of the nation by French, British and Anglo-Canadian colonialism
or U.S. imperialism.
up in European and U.S.-based big
power interests and conflicts of the oligopolies that operate through
enslaving supranational free trade agreements, and in that way
dishonour itself as some sort of obsequious facilitator? The big powers
and their oligopolies give the superficial appearance of being
invincible yet are always on the verge of exploding and breaking apart.
Nothing good will come from being ensnared in either the Comprehensive
Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and
its squabbles for dominance or the revised NAFTA (USMCA) and the
sharpening contradictions between rival imperialist factions in the
U.S. that cannot sort out a single problem of their own and threaten to
descend at any time into a raging armed civil war for power.
people that lining up behind this or
that big power willingly or unwillingly does not lead to prosperity,
build the nation or defend the people's rights. The people pay for the
conflicts and wars of the big powers with periodic economic crises,
constant insecurity in their living and working conditions and with the
grave danger of another world war hanging over everyone's head.
strength can any economy and
its political representatives develop trading and other relations with
the world for mutual benefit without rancour. The time has come to
break with the old comprador colonial mentality and strike out
courageously in a dignified independent direction to build the new. One
sensible foot forward would be to lead the economy on a path that
utilizes the enormous actual and potential material and human
productive power of Quebec and its working people to guarantee the
well-being and the rights of all as the priority, and from that
position of strength and stability exchange goods and services with
others for mutual benefit in the cooperative spirit that we are all one
1. Definition of comprador: a person who
as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or
economic or political exploitation.
The New Year Begins with Workers' Resistance
ABI and Quebec Workers Mark First
Anniversary of ABI Aluminum
Mass picket as Bécancour aluminum smelter
workers mark one year anniversary of lockout.
Bécancour aluminum smelter workers, alongside Quebec
workers, marked the first anniversary of the ABI lockout through
militant actions in defence of locked out workers and the dignity of
labour. Hundreds of workers hailing from various regions, including an
important contingent of workers from Sanguenay-Lac-Saint Jean, formed
picket lines and then demonstrated outside the constituency office of
the local member of the National Assembly for Nicolet-Bécancour.
Demonstration outside the constituency office of
the National Assembly member for
They reiterated their two demands: that the Premier meet
directly with company officials and demand that they return to the
table to negotiate a collective agreement acceptable to the workers;
that the government re-open its energy agreement with Alcoa by virtue
of which the lockout is considered a "force majeure" that frees the
Alcoa/Rio Tinto cartel from paying for the block of hydro-electricity
reserved for it and from paying fines when that energy is not used.
Workers are demanding that the clause be annulled. They point out that
the agreement is one of the reasons why the company's owners not only
refuse to negotiate with them, but are getting Quebeckers to pay for
the lockout, while Hydro-Québec and Quebec are deprived of
"There was little separation
between the parties last January when the dispute broke out. The gap
has widened since then and more than 1,000 families have suffered for
an entire year due to the greed of a multinational," noted
Clément Masse, President of United Steelworkers Local 9700 that
represents the ABI workers, at the rally outside the constituency
office. "We need the government to get out of its pseudo-neutrality and
restore some balance to this process. ABI is abusing the process and
keeping hundreds of families in a state of insecurity, with the
complicit silence of the Quebec government."
Workers note that so-called government assistance in the
negotiation process, such as with mediation, the mediation council and
now the working group which the Minister of Labour is proposing to set
up, is a figment of the government's imagination, as the cartel of
company owners has the utmost contempt for such arrangements. On
December 19, 2018, two days before the negotiation deadline set by the
Minister of Labour, the company owners announced the shutdown of half
of the pot lines still in operation at the smelter, demonstrating that
they do not recognize that negotiation process. Restarting those pot
lines is a long and costly process and anyone wanting to negotiate
would not behave in such a manner.
The Minister's latest invention is the establishment of a
working group which would use the ministry's resources as "support" for
the parties to reach a negotiated settlement. The Minister did not
explain how one supports a party which refuses to budge and only
recognizes its own dictate.
Meanwhile, workers are exposing the difficulties they are
experiencing, despite United Steelworkers union allocations and the
extraordinary support, including financial, they are receiving from
workers in Quebec, Canada and elsewhere. They are also reporting on the
difficulties being created for the local economy, such as jobs being
cut by suppliers, loss of revenue by merchants, and the Mayor of
Bécancour noting that approximately 14 per cent of the
municipality's budget comes from tax revenue provided by the plant.
Workers face difficulties in maintaining their stand that they want to
go back to work with their heads held high, through a successfully
negotiated agreement acceptable to them. That stand is in everyone's
interest, as without opposition to dictate and insistence on having a
decisive say over decision-making, insecurity for workers and for all
would be complete.
In that respect, ABI workers are intensifying their work to
mobilize the organized support of workers in Quebec and Canada, as well
as elsewhere. At the end of 2018, more than 300 union locals in Quebec,
Canada, the U.S. and Australia were sending financial assistance to ABI
workers in support of their struggle and that mobilization is being
Workers are turning their attention towards ABI, as this
struggle is everyone's struggle, for their rights as well as their
Crane Operators, Allies and Experts All Say
Irresponsible New Regulations
Crane operators demonstrate against changes
to regulations on training, May 5, 2018.
Between December 17-19, 2018, three days of hearings were held
by the committee set up by the Quebec government to look into the
impact on health and safety of regulatory changes to the training of
crane operators in Quebec.
The hearings, set up by the previous Couillard Liberal
government, came as a result of the courageous actions by crane
operators to oppose a new anti-worker regulation imposed by the Quebec
Construction Commission (CCQ) and the Quebec government, which poses a
threat to safety.
Following their many actions and
denunciations, crane workers refused to show up for work during an
entire week last June, demanding nothing less than the complete
withdrawal of the new regulation. They did so because they saw it as a
serious erosion, both in terms of quantity as well as quality, of the
training formerly required by workers to become crane operators. The
government, at the request of the CCQ, had abolished the obligatory 870
hours of training required for obtaining a Diploma of Vocational
Studies (DVS). The DVS is now optional, and new direct training of 150
hours has been introduced, now provided on site and under the
responsibility of companies. The CCQ and the government have also
created an 80-hour course for the operation of boom trucks with a
maximum capacity of 30 tonnes, following which the worker who
successfully completes the training becomes a qualified driver of such
trucks. It is precisely that type of crane that overturns the most
frequently and causes the most damage. Crane operators are facing
repressive measures such as a decision by the Administrative Labour
Tribunal declaring they participated in an illegal strike, while the
CCQ continues to threaten to take action against them for the illegal
strike as well as for intimidation. The courageous position of the
crane operators has garnered the support of the vast majority of
workers as well as the population and it is within that context that
the committee was set up.
At the December hearings, those who intervened included the
crane operators' union, which represents the vast majority of Quebec's
crane operators; the crane operators' collective; construction unions;
the school that provides the vocational training for crane operators;
the union representing those who teach the training courses; crane
businesses; construction companies; as well as crane operation health
and safety experts. Intervenors were given 25 minutes to present their
views, with their submissions being followed by a 30-minute exchange
with committee members.
The great majority of intervenors were of the opinion that
the new regulation has to be completely overhauled and that compulsory
crane operator vocational training must be maintained. They opposed the
new regulation as a violation of safety standards and in particular
raised the need for the adequate training of crane operators, which is
central to the safety of not only crane operators, but other workers
and the public at large. They specifically referred back to the
Canadian Standards Association's Z 150 standard that all Quebec crane
workers are subject to. The standard specifies the safety requirements
relating to mobile cranes to ensure the safety of workers and the
public and serves as a guide to manufacturers and those who purchase
cranes, as well as construction companies and governments and
regulatory bodies, so that the safety standards established through the
Z 150 code are respected.
Notably, the code specifies that mobile cranes must be
operated exclusively by qualified persons and that the mandatory
qualifications of crane operators must include the relevant training
and experience for their proper operation, as well as overall knowledge
of crane construction, along with sufficient knowledge of electricity
and hydraulics. Those who intervened noted that the new regulation
clearly does not uphold any of this.
Only two associations representing construction companies
supported the new regulation. One of them was disingenuous indeed. It
argued that it was better to have the new regulation and training in
place than to have no regulation or training at all. It added that many
construction companies purchase boom trucks and have them operated by
unqualified and untrained workers, which is clearly illegal. It should
be noted that the CCQ has taken no legal or other action to put an end
to this illegal situation. The representatives of that association now
claim that this will all be legal as there will be training, never mind
that the workers do not consider it adequate or vocational, despite the
fact that boom trucks are precisely those that overturn so easily and
are used in zones where the public circulates most often.
Crane operators are determined to have their two demands met:
that the new regulation be withdrawn and obligatory crane operator
training be maintained and that a roundtable be created which includes
all concerned parties, including teachers, to look into the problems
linked to the crane operator sector and construction site safety.
The committee will now be holding in camera meetings with various
parties and must submit its report to the Minister of Labour by
Health Care Professionals Must Be Able
to Work Safely in Order
Provide Safe Care to the Population
The FIQ-Union of Health Care Professionals of the
Laurentians (FIQ-SPSL) represents all nurses, licensed practical
nurses and respiratory therapists working at the Integrated
Health Care and Social Services Centre (CISSS) in the Laurentians.
The union is comprised of 4200 members.
In emergency rooms, as mentioned in a recent La Presse article, such as with the
example of the Hospital of St-Eustache, the occupancy rate is really
very high, at over 150 per cent capacity and at times as high as 178
per cent. The number of stretchers available is far from adequate. Some
have been set up in between two others. There are patients lined up one
behind the other in the hallways. We face a huge work overload, as many
patients come to the emergency ward to receive treatment. Health care
professionals are exhausted as a result of that overload. It's been a
long time since the facilities were updated with regard to the region's
demographics, both from the perspective of the population as a whole,
which continues to increase, as well as from that of an aging
population. The issues have been known for a very long time. The
facilities are no longer adequately serving the population. Although
there are projects for expansion, we've been meeting intensively for
over a year now with our employer on that subject to repeatedly
underscore the fact that winter brings with it its lot of problems
regarding the need for adequate care. Change is slow in coming.
At present, we are constantly in a
situation of having to do overtime. Nurses, licensed practical nurses
and respiratory therapists are all doing overtime and unfortunately,
much too regularly, mandatory overtime is being imposed. Although
Minister McCann had said that compulsory overtime would be eliminated,
it continues to exist. There is major fatigue amongst nurses, and a lot
of concerns are being raised. It's becoming increasingly difficult to
provide adequate care. Yet it's important to be able to work safely. It
is now a common occurrence that nurses go into work not knowing when
they will leave. This is something that we want to eliminate at the
union level. We want all our members going in to work knowing when they
will be finishing and we want the next shift's replacements already
What we have at the national collective agreement level is a
letter of agreement for a Quebec-wide review of the position structure,
the elimination of overtime and, of course, to no longer have
compulsory overtime. The letter of agreement is aimed at increasing the
position structure, replacing it with one that will ensure the safe
provision of services. The letter of agreement also includes provisions
for the implementation of full-time position goals. It is one of our
union's main struggles, to work with the employer to establish the
number of positions necessary and sufficient position structure, along
with self-sufficiency in the case of absences. This is what we are
working on, to have the required number of nurses, licensed practical
nurses and respiratory therapists to provide safe care everywhere. Here
we are in 2019 and the letter of agreement signed in 2016 has yet to be
We also have
professional-to-patient ratio projects, one
of which has just begun in an emergency department in the Outaouais. Of
course we hope to see
results regarding emergency wards but there are also ratio
projects in all sectors of activity, in long-term care centres
(CHSLDs), in surgery, etc.
We have some that are now in existence in our region and the
positive effects are already being felt with regard to positions
as well as personnel, care provided to the population, time spent
with patients, etc. Our people end their working day knowing that
the next shift is there to replace them. They've been able to
spend more time with their patients, thereby reducing patient
anxiety, the possibility of errors in the work, reducing patient
falls and rekindling the feeling of having accomplished one's
As for emergencies, for the immediate future, we need to
increase the number of nurses' and licensed practical nurses'
positions. To the extent possible, full-time positions must be
added. Licensed practical nurse training must also be stepped up
to allow them to lend a bigger hand in emergency departments.
Infrastructure work must also be undertaken.
For us, it's important that health care professionals be
and be able to work safely so that they can provide safe care to
the population. That's our big fight and we're waging it as much
for health care professionals as for the population, so that the
care provided is both adequate as well as humane. The two cannot
Julie Daignault is president of
the FIQ-Union of Health Care Professionals of the Laurentians
Tenants Speak Out
Quebec Government Must Improve Housing Conditions and Prevent
Abusive Rent Increases
Demonstration for right to housing, December
At a time when the rental housing crisis continues to grow,
the Régie du logement (Rental Board) has just published
its 2019 rent increase calculations. Here are its 2019 average
- unheated dwelling: 0.5 per cent
- heated dwellings:
electricity 0.4 per
heating oil 2.6 per cent.
Its figures do not reflect the rent increases suffered by
tenants by a long shot. The most recent rental market report
issued by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
notes that in the Quebec market, rents increased by 3.4 per cent
between 2017 and 2018. The increase is higher than inflation,
which stood at around one per cent. While the demand for family
dwellings continues to rise, the average rent for three or more
bedroom units has increased by 8.24 per cent.
Besides making drastic cuts in the Rental Board's
functioning, various successive governments have continuously
refused to provide pertinent information to tenants so that they
can fully defend their rights. The figures speak for themselves:
less than 0.2 per cent of all rents are set by the Rental Board
The Quebec Network of Housing Committees and Tenants
(RCLALQ) is of the view that the Rental Board has been turned into a
tenant eviction machine. Maxime Roy-Allard, its spokesperson, notes
that: "We have everything but a real rent control system. The Rental
Board is behaving as if landlords and tenants were on a level playing
field, while in fact tenants are often apprehensive about refusing a
rent increase out of fear of reprisals. The burden of control therefore
rests completely on tenants' shoulders, which makes this a
fundamentally unjust system."
Like RCLALQ, the Popular Action Front for Urban
Redevelopment (FRAPRU) is concerned about the
scarcity of rented units observed by the CMHC which, it feels,
could result in a new outbreak of rent increases, a rise in cases
of discrimination and in the number of homeless during the July
1st period, as experienced at the beginning of 2000. The CMHC
estimates the general dwelling vacancy rate at 2.3 per cent,
below the fixed 3 per cent equilibrium threshold. The rate drops
to only 1.5 per cent for three or more bedroom units.
The two groups working in defence of housing as a right are
urging Quebec to take action for improved housing conditions, as
well as to prevent abusive rent increases. They are demanding the
establishment of mandatory and universal rent control, as well as
better protection against eviction. "Due to the critical shortage
of affordable units, the Legault government must take significant
measures, beginning with its first budget, by sufficiently
financing the construction of social housing. It's the only way
to prevent the situation from further deteriorating," notes
FRAPRU spokesperson Véronique Laflamme.
What emerges from all this once again, is what housing
rights activists have been pointing out for years,
that the right to housing cannot be guaranteed by the private
market. Real life has again proven them right. The Quebec
Landlords Corporation (CORPIQ) has just invited its members to
disregard the eventual decrease in school taxes promised by the
new Legault government. Bill 3, An Act to establish a single
school tax rate, presented in the National Assembly on
December 6, 2018, is precisely aimed at dropping those rates. CORPIQ is
pushing its arrogance even further by inviting its members to leave
their dwellings empty for a year so that they can substantially
increase their rents. Government silence on this is unacceptable. It
must undertake a complete review of how the Rental Board functions so
that it is rendered a tool in defence of tenants' rights.
Housing Is a Right!
All Out for
Concrete Measures for the Full Guarantee of that Right!
Social Housing Now!
While 244,120 tenant households
have core housing needs, the vacancy rate for rental housing has begun
to drop dangerously in most Quebec cities. If measures are not quickly
taken, the poorest and most poorly housed may experience the serious
consequences of a new housing shortage.
FRAPRU is demanding that the Quebec government invest the
necessary funds into social housing so that tenants can improve their
living conditions permanently and protect themselves from a
foreseeable lack of housing. Enough time has been lost! For over ten
years now, the AccèsLogis program, the only program geared
towards social housing, has not even been indexed to the cost of
living. The result? The 12,500 social housing units promised in the
past 10 years of budgets have not yet been built. Co-ops and non-profit
organizations are not able to build them because the program is no
longer adapted to the realities of construction.
During the election campaign, François Legault's
Coalition avenir Québec promised to deliver these homes during
its first term. According to FRAPRU, it is far from enough. At this
rate, it would take over 78 years to meet the most urgent needs!!
The Legault government has the means to do so much better. In
2017-2018, Quebec had a surplus of $2.6 billion; a further $4.5 billion
surplus is expected in 2018-2019. According to FRAPRU, part of that
money must be used to ensure that affordable social housing meets
the needs of the most disadvantaged.
The Quebec government must adjust its 2019-2020 budget to:
- Stop underfunding AccèsLogis!
- Ensure social housing everywhere in Quebec, within a reasonable time
Quebec must invest in AccèsLogis!
cooperative housing, non-profit and social housing units are
needed over the next five years.
On February 7, 2019, join FRAPRU members for a demonstration
in Montreal. Rally at 11:00 am at Norman-Bethune Square (Guy-Concordia
station). For more information, contact the Housing Committee in your
Protestors Say No!
to U.S. Coup
Attempts Against Venezuela
Over 150 people, activists, women, youth, solidarity groups
and many others gathered on Sunday, January 27 at 1:00 pm at Phillips
express their strong opposition to the coup attempt by the U.S.
government against Venezuela. The intense cold did not deter the
protesters who are fully aware of the seriousness of the threats,
intrigues and activities of the governments of the United States,
Canada and others against Venezuela.
The many signs read:
the Venezuelan People, the Democratically Elected Government and Its
President Maduro!"; "Yankee No! Maduro Si!"; "No to Canada's
a Coup Against Venezuela"; "All Together with the Bolivarian Republic"
many others. Speakers took the floor in support of the Bolivarian
government: Jooneed Khan, a retired journalist for La Presse, Christine Dandenault of
the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), Claude Morin, a history
teacher at the University of Montreal, Marie Boti, of Anti-Imperialist
Women, and Yves Engler, a Montreal-based activist and author on
Canadian foreign policy issues..
Jooneed Khan recalled the
recent experience of people with regime change in Afghanistan, Libya,
Iraq and Haiti, and saluted the Venezuelan people and their
Christine Dandenault denounced the Liberal hypocrisy of the Trudeau
government which, with its Lima Group, supported and recognized the
nefarious individual who declared himself president. "The Trudeau
government, which claims to defend the rule of law, is attacking the
rule of law by participating in the organization of a coup
d'état against Venezuela alongside the U.S. imperialists. This
reveals the fraud and it must be denounced. It does not act in our
name." Claude Morin illustrated from every angle the legitimacy of the
presidential elections in Venezuela, the underhanded and mafia-style
financing of the "opposition," and the U.S. designs on oil resources in
Venezuela. "If the United States could seize these resources, they
would own 26 per cent of the planet's resources to impose their prices
and dictates," he said. Marie Boti, who was present during the
presidential elections, spoke about the role of women in defence of
their homeland, illustrating that they benefited the most from the
pro-social changes implemented by the Bolivarian governments, as they
were among the most oppressed. The speeches were interspersed with
applause and chanting of "Maduro Si! Yankee No!"
Everyone militantly marched to the U.S. Consulate and then on to the
entrance of the Guy Favreau Complex, a federal government building in
Montreal. The people rallied around the necessity to say No! to the
position of the Canadian government, No!
to U.S. intrigues and aims and
to fully support the people of Venezuela who are defending their
sovereignty and their right to be. The event's organizer, the Quebec
Movement for Peace, informed everyone to be ready to participate
in other rallies in the coming weeks.
Ninth Commemoration of Earthquake in Haiti
On January 12, 2010 at 4:53 p.m. in Haiti, a terrible
earthquake measuring 7 to 7.3 on the Richter scale hit the small
country and caused over 300,000 deaths and as many injuries, leaving
a million and a half people homeless. Every year since, the memory of
loved ones who disappeared and survivors has been honoured by the
At the call of Haiti House (Maison d’Haïti) in Montreal, dozens of
people gathered on January 12 to mark the ninth anniversary of the
tragedy. The evening's theme, "Ayiti toujou la!" (Haiti forever there)
highlighted the resilience and resistance of the Haitian people. "Our
will to live honourably, our determination for life always surprises,"
noted the evening's organizers. Through their creations, songs and
poetry, artists paid a moving tribute to the Haitian community and its
unwavering dedication towards the affirmation of life wherever they may
A minute of silence "to draw strength, courage and hope" was
dedicated to the memory of the victims of the earthquake and to all
those who have suffered as a result of that tragedy.
The people of Quebec are one with the Haitian community, with whom they
have lived and worked as part of the Quebec nation since the 20th
century. They are unwavering in their support of the Haitian people
who, imbued with that same spirit as in 1804 -- when they proclaimed
independence -- continue their efforts to recover from the natural
disaster and to affirm their right to control their country's destiny.
Montreal Women March in Defence of
Their Rights and The
Rights of All
On Saturday, January 19, in bitter cold temperatures, nearly
150 women gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin in defence of women's
rights and the rights of all and in support of the struggles of women
worldwide. Their numerous placards reiterated their demands: Justice
for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women! Not One More! No to War!
Oppose the Antisocial Offensive, a source of violence against women!
The protest was held at the same time as the Third Women's March in
Washington, DC. The first Women's March was organized on January 21,
in the aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump and in
rejection of his governance. Demonstrations also took place in more
than 40 cities in Quebec and in Canada, as well as in several cities in
the United States, France and around the world.
In their speeches, representatives of women's organizations denounced
the continuing disappearance and murders of Indigenous women and hailed
the struggles of the First Nations against the colonial state, the
theft of their lands by the oil industry, and ecological destruction.
Speaking of their own experience in working with advocacy groups
working with abused, homeless and marginalized women, they demanded an
end to violence against women here and around the world, improved
access to and respect for health care for women without
discrimination, along with enhanced economic security and
representation. The demonstrators, who were cheered on by passers-by,
then walked along St-Catherine Street to Place des Arts, chanting their
demands for a society fit for all human beings.
Social Housing Now!
Thursday February 7 -- 11:00 a.m.
Norman-Bethune Square (Guy-Concordia metro)
Organized by FRAPRU
10th Benefit for the League of Rights and Freedoms
Thursday February 7 -- 8:00 p.m.
Lion d'Or, 1676 Ontario Street East
(Papineau metro and 45 bus or Place des Arts metro and 125 bus)
Organized by the League of Rights and Freedoms
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