Fight against the privatisation of our future!
Further increases in university tuition fees, the introduction of a $25 rate for medical consultations and a fixed $200 annual fee for healthcare, electricity prices’ increase, cuts in public sector and various services… All these measures introduced by the Parti Libéral du Québec (Liberal Party of Quebec) and also by the Parti Québecois (Quebec Party), on the pretext that we must eliminate debt, also seek to restrict the scope of the State and to aid the private sector.
The former health minister, Philippe Couillard, is now doing business with the private company Persistence Capital Partners. He has helped create the conditions for a further deterioration of the public healthcare system and the introduction of ‘user fees’ to accustom people to pay for the care they receive. In such circumstances, it is easier to legitimise the introduction of the private sector.
This is just one example, among many, that show what the various private companies supporting the PLQ and the PQ will do and that the politicians of these parties are for most part careerists serving capitalist interests. It is working people who have to pay and get indebted, while the right-wing parties in power squander the revenues of the state for the benefit of the private sector. Of course, more and more people know that it can be otherwise and they are beginning to organise and fight accordingly.
On March 20, 75,000 people marched through the streets of Montreal, as part of a demonstration organized by the ‘Common Front’ of unions of the FTQ, CSN and SISP, from the public sector. In the context of the next provincial budget and of the ratification of collective agreements, the aim of this march was to fight for the right of public employees to decent working conditions and wages and the right for workers, in general, to have access to quality public services.
Two weeks later, following the presentation of the budget (on April 1), the coalition opposed to the pricing and privatization of public services succeeded in mobilising more than 15,000 people to denounce the neo-liberal measures of the Charest government.
The Movement for a Socialist Party of Quebec (MPSQ) which was present at these events (as were various workers and student trade unions and organisations) strongly supports the fight against the commercialization of our future which is taking shape, but also to push the debate further, because students, workers, unemployed and pensioners need to mobilise and building a political alternative.
Without having to apply solutions of neo-liberal austerity, it is possible:
– To provide free and quality public services
– To defend and strengthen the existing state-owned companies, such as Hydro-Quebec and the SAQ (Québec Alcohol Corporation), in the interest of the population
– To improve the working conditions of public sector workers
As well as these demands, the CWI in Quebec says:
– Full funding for all public sectors, such as education
– Make big business pay for the crisis caused by their profit system! Stop tax evasion by the rich and multinationals (Quebec has a tax on business income which is one of the lowest in the world – 29% in Quebec, compared to 32 % in Ontario, and 35% in the US)
– Nationalise, under democratic workers’ control and management, the major sectors of the economy (such as natural resources, financial institutions, telecommunications and other major companies) on the basis of a democratic plan of production design to meet the needs of all.
– For a mass workers’ party to struggle against the capitalist offensive
The essence of the Movement for a Socialist Party of Quebec (MPSQ) is to ensure that we organize to carry forward the fight against the bosses and to defend our collective interests. A socialist alternative is more relevant than ever. This is just the beginning, let’s continue the fight!