A Decisive Winter for the “Québec Model” (Le Devoir)

By Laura Pelletier
Originally published on: January 3, 2015
See original French version here: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/428022/csq-un-hiver-determinant-pour-le-modele-quebecois

Photo: Michaël Monnier, Le Devoir, The CSQ denounces how little information has been transmitted by ministers regarding the coming reforms, among them those that will affect healthcare.

The Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) intends to continue putting pressure during the winter of 2015 in order to slow down the reforms and bill projects of the liberal government in their current forms. Reviving an expression that was associated with the years 1945-1960, the president of the CSQ, Louise Chabot, declared on Friday that Québec is under thread of being resubmerged in a “great darkness”.

Ms. Chabot warns that “the year risks becoming a theatre of important social confrontations if the government does not quickly pull itself together to re-establish a real dialogue with its population and its employees.” She admits to having a challenge of “information and mobilisation” for the next year.

The president denounces especially the governmental measures being proposed in the education, health and childcare sectors, as well as the reductions in financing for cegeps and universities, the abolition of regional health agencies and the modulation, according to family revenue, of fees for subsidized daycares.

These reforms “profoundly attack” the social model adopted in Québec since the Quiet Revolution, she reckons. “In Quebec we have equipped ourselves with a range of services in the name of the common good. If these reforms in education and healthcare are adopted, it will be step back by 10, 15, 20 years,” Ms. Chabot deplored. Continue reading

One Last Drink Before the War (Le Devoir)

By David Desjardins
Originally published on: December 20, 2014
See original French version here: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/427274/un-dernier-verre-avant-la-guerre

Closures. Cuts. Reductions. Freezes. Increases in workloads. Confrontations. Week after week, the political and social reality builds up like a storming sky, souring our moods with the promise of a grey winter, followed by at least a few seasons of discontent.

Or maybe not?

Take a look at the ambiguous poll of the week, in which, in sum, Quebecois people seem to say both one thing and its opposite. It seems that they approve of most of the government’s austerity measures while at the same time feeling dissatisfied with them.

Next, try to predict what the social climate will look like in the coming weeks.

Continue reading