Today the leader of the official opposition in Quebec City reached a new low by suggesting that offering minimal financial assistance of last resort to migrants awaiting decisions would prevent the Quebec government from offering a second bath a week to residents of CHSLDs.
First, the Parti Québécois is an austerity party. In power in 2013, they cut social services and chose to renege on their promises to, for example, increase mining royalties.
The PQ government has opted to pursue the neo-liberal agenda of the Charest era, which includes cutting services to seniors in order to push them into private, fee-paying nursing homes.
Second, what exactly is Jean-François Lisée suggesting? To flout the Geneva convention by returning asylum seekers to the United States without hearing their case? To let them starve to death on the streets of Montreal without work permits, without housing and without last resort assistance?
The idea that the Government of Quebec is unable to provide quality services to our seniors and to help a few thousand asylum seekers is absurd.
It is not the money that is missing, but rather the lack of political will on the part of the leaders of the QLP, the CAQ and the PQ to impose a socialist economic model and to turn their backs on the neo-liberal austerity that is literally pulling apart the social safety net that we have been building for generations.
Furthermore, the PQ leader’s statements will have the effect of increasing racism and intolerance towards the most vulnerable people. All this in the same week that he calls for a “debate” on a government dress code to prevent the wearing of certain religious clothing.
We can afford to bathe our seniors while feeding the refugee claimants!
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec