Obituary – Quebec’s universal public healthcare system (IRSC Research Chair / Health, Policy and Evidence)

By: IRSC Research Chair / Health, Policy and Evidence
Originally published on: October 29 2015
Original French text here:

1970 – 2015


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Quebec’s universal public healthcare system today following a lengthy and painful demise.

Over the course of its 45-year existence, Quebec’s universal public healthcare system saved countless lives, prevented disasters, delivered entire families from destitution, all while helping many professionals make a fortune.
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Elections, a theatre of democracy (Huffington Post)

By: Étienne Boudou-Laforce, Ianik Marcil, Steve E. Fortin, Bianca Longpré; signatories at bottom of post
Originally published on: October 15 2015
Original French text here:

With its cardboard stage set, contrived acting and empty issues, federal elections can resemble an interminable production of summer theatre. Thankfully, at the end of the day, the theatricality makes way for handsome and unshakeable democracy. Elections are in fact the people’s calling to vote and choose their own destiny. Is it not a deeply noble thing to see democracy enacted?

Theoretically, the answer is yes, indeed. But maybe you should check with Greece. They elected an anti-austerity party and won a referendum against austerity, and yet their creditors answered back with a categorical “no” and even greater austerity in order to possibly punish them for even thinking they could get away with a referendum. As Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund-Adorno once said, “if voting could change the system, it would be illegal”.  Does this mean that our “less bad system” would be a simulacrum of democracy that is more pernicious than others because it suggests real political consequence? Is Étienne Chouard correct in stating that “the fact of having to designate our masters is a fraudulent imposition. It yields plutocratic results, with the rich leading for the past 200 years”?
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Fuck it all! (Le Devoir)

By: Sébastien Jean
Published on: April 10, 2015
Original French text here:

A generation of spoiled brats, as the saying goes. A generation saddled with debt that will probably not have a pension, will retire at 74, have a 50-year mortgage, life-long precarious employment, a slowly privatising healthcare system and a environment ravaged by their parents’ heedlessness. Its offspring, if it dares to have any, will have only the schooling they can access, if the system hasn’t self-destructed under pressure. All-out cuts, endless hikes.

When this generation marches to denounce what’s going on, it gets pounded. “Stay home and study”, it is told. People applaud the police, who are trained to rough it up while the complicit media complacently demonises it. This generation is only questioned in order to be mocked. The very government doling out austerity awards itself retirement packages and excellent salaries while the very rats accused of collusion are free as a bird.
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Protest’s Variable Standards (Le Devoir)

By: Marie-Andrée Chouinard
riginally published on: April 4, 2015
Original French text here:

The way that cops treat students is different than the way they treat other advocacy groups

PHOTO CREDIT: Annik MH De Carufel Le Devoir | Hundreds of protesters, including many students, took to the streets in Montreal to oppose police brutality on March 15

Thursday April 2, Montreal. A motley crowd in the street, a street flooded by the spring sunlight that is finally warming our faces, faces coloured with the red of protest, a protest suddenly halted by shots of teargas and the charge of police officers.

Montreal, Sunday March 29. On this chilly day, women take to the streets and step out of Émilie-Gamelin square while shouting chants aimed at reminding Couillard’s government that no one is to hinder abortion access. Around 500 people make their way towards Health Minister Gaétan Barrette’s office then turn back around. The police flank the march but never intervene.

In both cases, no itinerary was provided to the police administration. No “violent” incidents were noted by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). And yet these two protests came to two very distinctive conclusions. Why?

“It’s quite obvious from the dozen recent protests: when they are not organized by student groups, but by feminist groups for example, they are not subject to the same treatment. The treatment is notably differential, and it amounts to political profiling.”
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Political repression of the social protest movement must end! (La ligues des droits et libertés)

By: La ligue des droits et libertés
Originally published on: April 1, 2015
See original French text here:


Embargoed until 10:00 April 1, 2015

Montreal, April 1st, 2015 – In the face of the extremely brutal police interventions used to crack down on student strike-related demonstrations, the Ligue des droits et libertés, ASSÉ, SPUQ, SGPUM, FNEEQ, the Comités Printemps 2015, the Coalition opposée à la tarification et à la privatisation des services publics, the FFQ, the Observatoire sur les profilages and several other community organisations, unions and groups are outraged and deeply worried about the situation. They demand an immediate end to this political repression.

The violent nature of this repression has already been roundly criticized. The fact that it has come about in such a brutal manner, at the very start of the student strike movement, bears witness to an increasing will to crush the social movement and demonstrates the political character of this repression. Calls to order and other commentary offered by certain politicians such as Quebec City mayor Labeaume or Anie Samson – the official in charge of Public Security on the City of Montreal council who declared that this year there would be “zero tolerance and the police will enforce the rules” – confirm a clear political intention to nip the strike movement and student protests in the bud.
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