Town­ship­pers to demon­strate for so­cial jus­tice in Mon­treal this Satur­day

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL NEWS - Record Staff

Fol­low­ing the re­cent shuf­fling of the pro­vin­cial cab­i­net, the Main Rouge Coali­tion, made up of com­mu­nity groups from dif­fer­ent sec­tors, la­bor or­ga­ni­za­tions and fem­i­nists, is con­demn­ing ap­par­ent con­tra­dic­tions in the govern­ment's new pri­or­i­ties. While Premier Philippe Couil­lard says he wants to lower the tax bur­den while re­duc­ing so­cial in­equal­i­ties and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life of cit­i­zens and fam­i­lies, Sol­i­dar­ité Pop­u­laire Es­trie says that the Lib­eral govern­ment is set­ting the ta­ble for fur­ther cuts and has not be­gun to re­view the cur­rent tax sys­tem. It points out that the record sur­pluses boasted by the govern­ment were achieved at the cost of cuts that con­tinue to af­fect the pop­u­la­tion of the Es­trie. To de­nounce these con­se­quences and to de­mand a mas­sive rein­vest­ment in pub­lic ser­vices, so­cial pro­grams and au­ton­o­mous com­mu­nity ac­tion, mem­bers of var­i­ous so­cial groups in the Es­trie will take part in an event or­ga­nized by the Coali­tion Main Rouge this Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28, in Mon­treal.

"Rather than tack­ling so­cial in­equal­i­ties as Mr. Couil­lard says he wants to do, ne­olib­eral poli­cies like his lat­est aus­ter­ity mea­sures am­plify them," said Jimmy Forgues, co­or­di­na­tor of Sol­i­dar­ité pop­u­laire Es­trie. "Tax cuts mainly ben­e­fit the bet­ter-off and big busi­ness. They also con­tribute to ar­ti­fi­cially cre­at­ing a "cri­sis" in pub­lic fi­nances by emp­ty­ing the state cof­fers, which is then used to jus­tify more aus­ter­ity.

“Mean­while, the in­creased use of pric­ing and the com­modi­ti­za­tion of ser­vices are in­creas­ingly lim­it­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity to pub­lic ser­vices," said Do­minique Daigneault, who is also co-spokesper­son for the Red Hand Coali­tion. For ex­am­ple, the Coali­tion men­tions the mul­ti­ple fees for ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ma­te­ri­als or ac­tiv­i­ties at the ele­men­tary and sec­ondary lev­els, the mod­u­la­tion of CPE rates that are par­tic­u­larly im­pov­er­ish­ing for fam­i­lies, the mul­ti­pli­ca­tion of health care and so­cial ser­vices pro­vided by the pri­vate sec­tor, and even in­creases in Hy­dro rates used to the detri­ment of the poor­est house­holds.

"In ad­di­tion to tax cuts, the tax sys­tem, which val­ues tax avoid­ance and turns a blind eye to tax eva­sion, col­lec­tively de­prives us of bil­lions of dol­lars that could be in­vested in schools, in health care, in so­cial ser­vices, cul­ture, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, sub­si­dized ed­u­ca­tional child­care, so­cial hous­ing, so­cial as­sis­tance, and in­de­pen­dent com­mu­nity ac­tion groups. We give gifts to the rich rather than worry about our so­cial de­vel­op­ment,” says Véronique Laflamme, co-spokesper­son for the Coali­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Coali­tion mem­bers, so­lu­tions ex­ist to re­ally re­duce so­cial in­equal­i­ties: bet­ter dis­trib­ute wealth, re­view taxation, and rein­vest mas­sively in pub­lic ser­vices, so­cial pro­grams and com­mu­nity ac­tion. "Without this, the Couil­lard govern­ment can­not im­prove the liv­ing con­di­tions of the pop­u­la­tion and fam­i­lies, as it says it wants to do, and the pro­found trans­for­ma­tion promised by the Premier may be re­duced to a fur­ther weak­en­ing of our so­cial safety net."

A few months be­fore a pre-elec­tion bud­get, the Coali­tion Main Rouge and Sol­i­dar­ité pop­u­laire Es­trie have launched a vast cam­paign un­der the theme "Aim­ing for so­cial jus­tice" to counter the dis­man­tling of the so­cial safety net.

The demon­stra­tion of Oc­to­ber 28 is the first mo­bi­liza­tion demon­stra­tion of this cam­paign. A few days be­fore Hal­loween, it will be un­der the theme of Robin Hood and his band. Mem­bers of com­mu­nity, pop­u­lar groups, ed­u­ca­tion unions, the pub­lic ser­vice, health and so­cial ser­vices, the pri­vate sec­tor, and women's groups from all re­gions of the prov­ince will be present.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.