The Coming to Power of the CAQ

Normand Fournier —

For weeks now we have been hearing about a need for change. That Quebeckers wanted change, but especially to free themselves of the Liberal Party of Quebec.

The government has changed, but not governance. The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) will continue to pursue neo-liberal, anti-social and anti-people measures. Cuts will continue in health care and education. The privatization of Crown corporations will be promoted as a means to supposedly solve the problem of Quebec’s debt. The public services, assets that Quebec has built up over the last 40 years, will be put up for sale or straightforwardly destroyed. Attacks and the criminalization of workers and their defence organizations will continue. Those who defend the workers and their claims will also be attacked. Non-profit organizations (NPOs) will be threatened and suffer budget cuts.

Since the day after the election François Legault has been trying to reassure Quebeckers about what he has in store for them. However, throughout the entire election campaign he spoke neither about the housing situation nor social assistance which in no way helps citizens out of poverty. He adopted the same attitude with regard to the minimum wage, by talking only about wanting to create jobs at $25-30-40 per hour.

The CAQ has no sympathy for the workers. It speaks about assisting and caring for seniors — older people as Legault says — with new seniors’ residences. However, what seniors want is to live for as long as possible in their own homes.

One of the weaknesses of this new government will be that future CAQ government ministers will either lack or have no experience. This will be an opportunity for NPOs to direct their efforts at these new ministers rather than the agencies mandated by the government. For example, going after the minister responsible for housing and not the Régie du logement itself.

Faced with such a majority government we have no vehicle to put forward our positions, the positions of the workers and their defence organizations, except our newspaper Chantier politique. Between now and the next election, we must consolidate this work and ensure its existence.

Normand Fournier is the PMLQ candidate in Mont-Royal-Outremont.