August 3, 2012 - No. 105
All Out to Defeat the Liberals in the
September 4 Quebec Election!
Occupy the Space for Change!
"Charest government =
corruption"; "Enough! Charest Out!"; "I'm fed up! -- see you at the
to Defeat the Liberals in the
September 4 Quebec Election!
• Occupy the Space for Change! - Pierre
Chénier, Marxist-Leninist Party of
• Millions of Dollars Spent to Promote Liberal
Candidates and Northern Plan
Student Strike Against
Fee Increases and Privatization of Education
• Charest Confronted in Vermont at Governors'
• 100th Nocturnal Demonstration in Montreal
• Tour of Ontario and Quebec Defends Education
• Student Federations Call on Liberals to Not
Obstruct Student Vote
• Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government
All Out to Defeat the Liberals in the
September 4 Quebec Election!
Occupy the Space for Change!
On August 1, Quebec Premier Jean Charest called a
general election for September 4.
Charest has asked the electorate to endorse his vision,
calls "Employment and economy, responsibility and respect for
democracy." This vision for Quebec is a fraud. It is the
Charest government itself which is responsible for the destruction of
economy and jobs. It is notorious for its corruption
and attacks on the rights of workers, youth and the entire people.
hinges on criminalizing the
students and their vision for society and defaming his adversaries
shows how desperate the Liberals are.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) is
candidates in this election. The PMLQ is of the opinion that by taking
up the program to defeat the Liberals, the workers and our fighting
youth can make headway in advancing their own vision for the society.
Together, let us open a path for a new Quebec that will
the rich, increase funding for social programs and guarantee the rights
Occupy the Space for
All Out on September 4 to Defeat the Liberals!
Charest Government's Corruption
Millions of Dollars Spent to Promote Liberal Candidates
and Northern Plan
Protest against Premier
Charest's visit to the Madeleine Islands, July 20, 2012.
On July 19 and 20, Jean Charest toured eastern and
northeastern Quebec. He visited the town of Fermont and the Romaine
project in the Gaspésie and the Madeleine Islands. At each stop
he promoted the Northern Plan and announced investments of several
In the Gaspésie, Charest met with the region's
"wind industry elite" to announce that in the fall of 2012 there will
be two contracts tendered for the production of 700 megawatts (MW) of
electricity. Of this, 250 MW will be reserved for First Nations'
projects, Charest said.
On the Madeleine Islands he was met by about 150
protestors at Cap aux Meules, who shouted "We'll find YOU a job in the
North!" This slogan was started by the Quebec students in rejection to
Northern Plan and Charest's jibe that
rather send all the students to the north than negotiate a political
solution to the student strike.
On July 27, Charest presented the Quebec Liberal Party's
(PLQ) two candidates in the regions covered by the Northern Plan.
Gérald Lemoyne, Mayor of Lebel-sur-Quevillon, will
run for the Liberals in the riding of Ungava. In the riding of
Duplessis on the North Shore, Fermont Mayor Lise
Pelletier is the Liberal candidate. Both have pledged to
promote and defend the Northern Plan.
In each riding the Charest government promised $200
million to the municipalities. It also recently signed an agreement
with the Cree on the territory's governance.
This makes a running total of nearly $2 billion in
public investments announced by the Liberal government in July. Quebec
is headed for
a typical election where the party in power will continue to announce
the distribution of public funds throughout the campaign. It is a
of the corruption that the Quebec people despise and want to be rid of.
This corruptionhas characterized the Liberal Party's
political life since 2003. The Charbonneau Commission's revelations on
corruption and collusion in the construction sector, the funding of
political parties with "dirty money" from engineering consulting firms
and Liberal MNAs' links with the mafia are other
aspects of the Liberal's governance and cannot be ignored.
Those who choose to represent the PLQ in these elections
do so with full knowledge of the facts.
Student Strike Against Fee Increases and
Privatization of Education
Charest Confronted in Vermont at
The 36th annual Conference of New England Governors and
Eastern Canadian Premiers took place in Burlington, Vermont, July 29
and 30. On the agenda for discussion was, among
other things, transport and energy and the issue of the flooding
of Champlain Lake.
Even before the meetings began, more than 1,000
demonstrators held a
demonstration against the neoliberal
policies of the conference.
through the streets of Burlington and were met with support from the
city's residents all along the way. Several proudly wore the red square
and others banged their casseroles in support of Quebec students'
the tuition fee increase. Popular slogans from the
demonstrations against the Charest Liberals
echoed in the streets of Burlington, chanted by demonstrators from both
sides of the border.
"We endure constant increases to tuition fees that are
said Marie Salerno, who just finished her studies at the University of
Vermont in Burlington. She added that she has been very inspired by
the Quebec students' determination.
Protestors are also
concerned with the Portland-Montreal pipeline
and Northern Pass projects, which would permit Hydro-Quebec to export
electricity to New England through New Hampshire.
The First Nations from Northern Quebec also used the
explain their concerns to the government leaders about Hydro-Quebec's
large-scale projects in their region. In an interview with
Radio-Canada, Justine Vollant of the Sept-Iles-Maliotenam Innu
community said, "When Mr. Charest comes to
sell electricity, we say he's selling something we oppose." This First
Nations community from Quebec's North Shore has not
yet consented to the construction of transmission lines that would
the Romaine hydroelectric complex.
The demonstrators in
brutally attacked by police, who fired several rubber
bullets and used
As for Jean Charest, he defended his role as Quebec's
travelling salesman for the monopolies. "The meeting here with the
governors is very
important for us," Charest said during the meeting's press conference.
"It's really a forum where we promote our interests to create jobs, to
create wealth," he said. "Today Quebec and
its regional partners have seized a golden opportunity to go further
in their exchanges and investments in the key sectors of our economies,
energy and transport. I am delighted that Quebec's expertise and
know-how can significantly contribute to our mutual prosperity," he
100th Nocturnal Demonstration in Montreal
More than 10,000 people of all ages and walks of life
Gamelin Park for the 100th night march against the tuition fee increase.
By 7:00 pm, a few
hundred people had taken to the streets from the corner of Jarry and
Streets, casseroles in hand, headed
to the park over six kilometres away. Along the route at major
intersections the demonstrators met more contingents banging their
joined the main march,
swelling its ranks. At Rosemont Metro the police arrested a youth. As
demonstrators demanded his release, police cars arrived on the scene at
full speed, barging unrestrained through the demonstrators -- youth,
children. Far from being intimidated, the march
Several groups carried banners including Mères en
solidaires who chanted, "We will not give up!" "Mile-End Against the
Hike!", "Villeray Disobeys [the Special Law]" and many others.
All along the route people were out on their balconies, banging their
casseroles and saluting the demonstrators and cars honked in support.
included, "Charest get out! We'll find you a job in the North!",
"We'll shout louder! We won't be ignored!" and a new one in
response to the call of a provincial election a few hours earlier,
"September 4 -- Charest Out!"
By the time the demonstration reached Emelie Gamelin
Park it was
10,000 strong. The police were out in full force, markedly nervous and
agitated. The demonstration continued to grow as the march
resumed along René-Lévesque Boulevard and continued for
Since the election was called, the police are visible
the streets of downtown Montreal in the Latin Quarter, the student
district. This is what elections look like in Quebec.
Tour of Ontario and Quebec Defends Education
The Broad Coalition of Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE)
active all summer in Quebec and Ontario publicizing the Quebec
students' opposition to the tuition fee increase and the Charest
government's anti-social policies.
Since July 13, CLASSE has been on a summer tour across
student federation states that "the primary objective of the tour is to
go and meet directly with the population so as to discuss the values
and ideas of the student movement [...]. CLASSE will visit almost all
regions of Quebec, including
Sherbrooke, Rimouski, Trois-Pistoles, Tadoussac, Chicoutimi,
Rouyn-Noranda, Granby, Joliette, Baie-Saint-Paul and
The representatives of the student organization will
conferences, and discussions, take part in popular assemblies,
distribute information pamphlets, speak at festivals and more to inform
and engage in exchanges with the public on the student demands.
Various attempts have been made to block CLASSE's tour
areas, such as in Trois-Pistoles and at the University of Quebec in
Outaouais. However, the organization's determination and the
mobilization of the local collectives have ensured that the tour, which
ends August 10, has gone forward as planned.
Student Solidarity Tour in Ontario
University of Windsor,
July 16, 2012
From July 12 to
20, CLASSE also toured nine cities in Ontario, visiting Ottawa,
Kingston, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Windsor, London, Guelph, Toronto
and Peterborough. The aim of this tour was to inform and increase
support for the struggle against the Charest
government's tuition fee increase.
CLASSE representatives pointed out during the tour that
strike is taking place in a context of attacks not just against the
Quebec students, but also against other collectives in Canada, with the
Harper government's Bill C-38 omnibus budget bill and the austerity
budgets that have been adopted by the
Ryerson University in
Toronto, June 18, 2012; Hamilton City Hall, July 14, 2012.
Student Federations Call on Liberals to
Not Obstruct Student Vote
In their battle to defeat
the Charest government in the upcoming
election, the Quebec Federation of College Students (FECQ) and the
Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ) are taking action to
ensure that students are able to vote in large numbers. They believe
that amendments made to the Elections
Act last fall will make voting more difficult for students,
contrary to the claims of the Chief Electoral Officer (DGEQ).
The student federations commissioned a legal opinion
Juripop legal clinic, which is posted on the website
1625canepassepas.ca, which concerns "The concept of residence in the
framework of a provincial general election and the voting process,"
with respect to the November 16, 2011 change to Article
3 of the Elections Act and the Memorandum of Understanding
on voting outside of one's electoral riding. Juripop concludes that
without changes "we fear that the new rules will not create a separate
class of voters and unfortunately make it more difficult for a student
to exercise his or her voting rights
than for any other Quebecker."
In a letter to the DGEQ and
leaders of the political
represented in the National Assembly, the student federations decry
Liberal government refuses to set up polling stations in the CEGEPs and
universities. It now refuses to allow students to vote in the area
where they study and proposes a new measure that is not in keeping with
the reality students face. One wonders
if they aren't doing everything in their power to prevent the students
from voting in 'student ridings,' such as Sherbrooke, for fear of not
being re-elected in the upcoming election."
In the same letter, FEUQ and FECQ representatives put
forward proposals to favour and facilitate the student vote:
"[...] We suggest that out-of-riding polling stations be
set up in
the CEGEPs and universities [...] Keep in mind that many polling
stations for the homeless have been set up in seniors' residences and
hospitals, without posing insurmountable challenges to the DGEQ.
"[...] It would be advisable to close colleges and
at least four hours to ensure that students have time to vote on voting
"Obviously in a perfect world, real polling stations,
and not just
out-of-riding polling stations, [...] would be set up in each and every
The students' letter to the DGEQ concludes, "[W]e ask
accept these new proposals which we believe do not present any
foreseeable problems, except for political motives that we find
unacceptable in the democratic framework in which we live."
1. To read the opinion of the
Juripop legal clinic, click here.
2. To read the letter sent to the DGEW
and political parties represented in the National Assembly, click here.
Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional
After two and a half years of negotiations and the
signing of an
agreement in principle one year ago, on July 24 the Quebec government
and the Cree
Nation signed an agreement creating the regional government of Eeyou
Istchee James Bay. The agreement gives the Cree expanded
powers over lands and resources.
The new regional government replaces the James Bay municipality, from
which the Cree were excluded.
For the next 10 years the regional government will be
headed by a
joint council of 22 people, half Cree and half Jamésiens
residents of the James Bay municipality). Support from two thirds of
the representatives will be required to adopt the annual budget and
on other important issues.
According to the government's PR, the new governance
enable the Cree to exercise greater autonomy and give them more
responsibilities, particularly in terms of managing the territory and
natural resources. This regional government will have the same
responsibilities, functions, and powers as local
municipalities, regional county municipalities (MCR), regional
conferences of elected officers and regional commissions on natural
resources and land, the government said.
Getting this agreement signed was crucial for the
Charest government in promoting its Northern Plan since one of the most
abused parties in
the development of the North is the First Nations. Quebec is said to
respect their rights as opposed to the federal
government and provincial governments
which are holding token consultations with First Nations to fool the
gullible. Of course, this agreement with the Cree is also very
problematic since the failure of governments to represent the people is
one of the most serious issues facing the polity at this time.
According to the PR about this agreement, the Cree will
exclusive jurisdiction over hydroelectric projects of 50 MW or less and
wind projects within certain areas of the territory. The Cree
signatories state that this agreement, based on the 1975 James Bay and
Northern Québec Agreement and the 2002 Paix
des Braves agreement, represents a new step in creating a partnership
for the development of the James Bay territory.
"Today's agreement will facilitate Northern development
eliminating the political structures that excluded the Cree," said Tina
Petawabana, Director of Quebec Relations for the Grand Council of the
Cree. "Now, we are participants. We are for development provided we
have a voice and can participate in
future developments," she added.
"This agreement follows the principles that are guiding
Plan process, which is to ensure the participation of Aboriginals in
decision-making and in the realization of development projects. [...]
The Northern Plan could not happen without the support and
collaboration of the Cree Nation and that of
James Bay residents," Premier Jean Charest said.
"Together, the Cree and James Bay residents will be able
the needs of the region and plan its development, thus designating
access to Northern resources in line with government wishes," Jean
Charest said to underscore clearly who rules the arrangement.
James Bay Territory
The immense James Bay Territory
is divided into three land categories. The James Bay and Northern
Agreement provides that Category I lands, an area of 5,228 square
kilometres are under the band councils' jurisdiction. With the Eeyou
Istchee James Bay agreement, Category
II lands (56,200 square kilometres) will be controlled by the Cree
Nation government. Category III lands, which constitute the majority of
the territory comprising 278,270 square kilometres, will now be
governed by the regional government. With respect to Category I and II
lands, the Cree have exclusive jurisdiction
over hydroelectric projects of 50 MW or less and wind projects.
The territory's population of approximately 30,000
people is composed of 16,000 Cree and 14,000 other inhabitants.
According to the media, the Aboriginal
Affairs Secretariat explained that although information tours on the
agreement took place in James Bay and Eeyou Istchee, the contents of
the agreement will not be put to a referendum for the local population
concerned. "We're talking at most
of a new series of information tours which will undoubtedly be put
forward soon in James Bay."
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