On January 21, the Quebec NDP members elected Raphaël Fortin as their leader. “While we wish Mr. Fortin the best of luck, we note with disappointment that he is more interested in the centre than in the left of Quebec politics,” said Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Green Party of Quebec.
The new leader of the NDPQ opposes the $15 minimum wage, “It’s quite surprising to see a party that presents itself as progressive opposing, from the outset, one of the biggest demands of Quebec workers and unions,” said Mr. Tyrrell.
On the environmental front, Mr. Fortin proposes to build on electric cars by “doubling tax credits” and eliminating the PST on these vehicles. The government is already paying out up to $8,000 in subsidies for each electric vehicle sold. “With Mr. Fortin’s plan, the Quebec government will subsidize the purchase of each electric vehicle up to $20,000. This astronomical amount literally represents a blank cheque for the automotive industry and will not achieve the desired effects. Public transit is the only sustainable transportation solution for Quebec’s urban centres,” reacted Alex Tyrrell.
Beyond the environment and workers’ rights, Mr. Fortin defends a very weak position on identity politics that seeks to rally votes from the nationalist right. “It is quite surprising to hear the new leader of the NDPQ oppose the rights of people who wear religious symbols to work as police officers, crown attorneys or judges. He says he wants to spend very little energy defending the rights of minorities. That is disappointing. “said Alex Tyrrell. “These people are fully qualified for their positions and their rights are enshrined in the Canadian Constitution.
“The NDPQ members have chosen a leader who positions himself at the centre of Quebec politics rather than on the left. Their election strategy does not take into account the presence of the Quebec Green Party on the Quebec political scene. The Green Party of Quebec has a true left-wing, eco-socialist, feminist and multicultural platform, as well as a solid team; we have already put forward 15 highly qualified candidates for the 2018 general election. “concluded Alex Tyrrell.
What is the Green Party of Quebec proposing?
We support a $15 minimum wage, massive investments in public transit combined with fare abolition, rather than offering generous subsidies to the auto industry, which will only advance a technology based on the over-consumption of our natural resources. Let us not forget that electric vehicles require the extraction of rare earths and that many citizens and First Nations are already mobilized against such projects in Quebec.
In terms of identity, the Green Party of Quebec defends an inclusive Quebec where each person is free to show his or her faith regardless of their occupation. We are the true progressive and federalist alternative for Quebecers.