Québec Solidaire launches campaign in Laval

Spokesperson Manon Massé admits party’s platform is ‘radical’

Québec Solidaire launches campaign in Laval
Québec Solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé, centre, is seen here with the party’s six candidates in Laval during the launch held by QS at the Dallas Bar on Cartier Blvd. West last week.
Martin C. Barry

“Politics is not democracy,” Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé told a boisterous crowd of supporters who got together on Sept. 4 at the Dallas Bar on Cartier Blvd. West to launch the party’s 2018 provincial election campaign in the Laval area.

Defining democracy

“Democracy is you,” said Massé, who shares spokesperson status with Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “And if you don’t concern yourself with it, you can be sure that the politicians will be taking care of it. We’ve known for a long time that the system as it is currently organized, that the system with the decision-makers we have now, is offering us solutions which make no sense whatever.”

The message from Massé and her party was that “it takes a change of direction with people who have enough courage, like the people from Québec Solidaire, like you, people with enough courage to go and find the money necessary to make the necessary economic change to make sure that our water, our natural resources, and even the relationship between us and nature, is taken care of.”

Québec Solidaire launches campaign in Laval
Québec Solidaire candidate in Chomedey Rabah Moulla was introduced and greeted by party spokesperson Manon Massé during the launch held by QS in Laval-des-Rapides last week.

A ‘radical’ alternative

Massé said the QS members who now sit in the National Assembly don’t want to be there just to vote for a system that never changes. “What we want is to take power because we want to change things profoundly, and I am going to use the word ‘radical.’”

Originally from the town of Windsor in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Massé grew up in a family whose existence depended largely on the paper mill which was and remains that municipality’s principal employer. In talks to Québec Solidaire members, she often emphasizes her working class roots and the necessity for Quebec’s economic strategy to increasingly reflect the needs of workers.

Environmental issues

Québec Solidaire candidate in Laval-des-Rapides Graciela Mateo, who was one of several speakers during the rally, said QS shares the same environmental preoccupations as a large segment of the Quebec population and stands ready to take action.

“The resources of this planet are not inexhaustible,” she said. “Its various eco-systems can’t go on being disturbed indefinitely. There is no time left. Each act counts. We can no longer accept the unacceptable, doing nothing, the absence of political courage to make things happen.

Québec Solidaire launches campaign in Laval
Québec Solidaire’s Manon Massé makes no apologies for admitting the party’s ideas and platform are more radical than any of the other political parties in Quebec.

Time to act, says candidate

“We know that if we had better public transit by making it more accessible, we would use our cars less often and we will pollute as well,” she continued, pointing out that Québec Solidaire recently proposed cutting public transit fares in half across the province. She said the party also wants to encourage local and urban farming as another way of reducing pollution while contributing to healthy lifestyles.

“You will find when you see our platform that our plans are ambitious,” she continued. “But there’s a reason for that – there’s no time left and we must act right away. Climate warming is affecting our lives and quality of living in each instant. But only one MNA in the National Assembly isn’t good for much. So we need your participation. But what else do we need? We need Manon Massé in order to have the courage to change things at the root.”