FOR A COMBATIVE ALLIANCE AGAINST LEGAULT AND THE BIG MONOPOLIES
Québec National Day statement, from the Communist Party and Young Communist League of Québec
On the occasion of National Day 2019, the Communist Party and the Young Communist League of Québec call on all democratic, social, labor and popular movements to unite in a fighting and militant alliance against the reactionary and racist government of François Legault.
Indeed, this government presented as respectable, even praised by the mainstream media of Quebec, is yet the most reactionary since the time of Duplessis and the “Grande Noirceur” period.
Many recent events reinforce this idea. The use of the parliamentary gag to force bills 9 and 21 is enough to reveal the real character of the CAQ government, that is to say, a government that despises fundamental rights when they come into conflict with the interests of the big monopolies.
Both bills on secularism and immigration aim to create a division between “Québécois pure laine", that is to say French-Canadian Catholics, and those who come from more recent immigration, often racialized, and of different religious beliefs. Many people - including in the left - do not hesitate to support these measures on behalf of a fake Québec national unity.
However, this national unity advocated by narrow nationalists aims to unite Québec workers with their exploiters. If in certain cases, such as during a national liberation struggle or during an anti-fascist struggle, this appeal would be right.
In a situation like that of present-day Quebec, which reached the advanced stage of monopoly capitalism with its big companies of Quebec.inc, like Jean Coutu, Couche-Tard, Bombardier or Québécor; this call can only be reactionary, especially when the danger does not come from abroad, but from Québec’s own ruling class.
In addition to targetting immigrants, the CAQ government is also attacking workers in general - the two issues not being disconnected. The Uber law, which institutionalises employment precariousness a little more, does not only represent an attack on taxi drivers (many of whom are of immigrant origin) but also and especially against all those who try to escape the margins of the economy and would like to access stable, unionized and quality jobs.
This stance against workers is also evidenced by the shameful position taken by the head of government in the case of the Bécancour stellworkers strike, where he literally sided with the employer to smash the union and the workers.
The Legault government is also just starting to dismantle the so-called "Québec model" and break the social services acquired through harsh struggles. In the months to come, let us be ready for various attacks on the public childcare system under the pretext of 4 years-old elementary classes, the dismantling of school boards (an important aspect of local democracy) and even the undermining of trade union accreditation’s system.
Moreover, while it is imperative to mobilize against the CAQ and its reactionary government, we must also take into account the dangers that await us in the upcoming federal elections. While several Conservative governments have been elected in different provinces, or even around the world, in the last few months, it would be a euphemism to say that the populist right is on the rise.
Federal Conservatives, as well as Maxime Bernier’s “People’s Party”, would make us regress to a time when nothing was an obstacle to the omnipotence of the bosses. The Liberals, among those responsible for the current doldrums, are no better off with their broken promises to Indigenous peoples and nations and to people who care about the environment.
The NDP, a party that accepts popular demands only insofar as they are harmless to big business, is not a people’s alternative, especially not to Québécois or to any oppressed nation in Canada. Indeed, this party accepts the democratic demands of Québec only when they do not attack Canada’s anti-democratic Constitution.
Similarly, the Bloc Québécois, a federal party that benefited from the auspices of Québec people because of the national question, is in no way a favorable option since it proposes only a narrow nationalist response to the national question. Let us not forget that during the last federal election, the Bloc did not hesitate to support the Conservatives in their Islamophobic and racist maneuver aimed at highlighting a false debate about veiled Muslim women and their right to vote.
We, communists, hope that the fight against the Legault government will generate in Québec a people’s anti-imperialist and anti-monopolist alliance that would be capable of fighting both Trudeau's hypocrisy, the danger posed by the Conservative Party, and the NDP’s and Bloc’s perfidy - two parties that claim to be progressive sometimes while being fundamentally nationalist.
(The above article is from the July 1-31, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)