CAW in Quebec and English Canada Call for Coalition Government

November 30, 2008, 12:00 PM EST


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The CAW is calling on the three main opposition parties in the House of Commons to form a coalition government.

In a week-end meeting of the CAW Quebec Council in Quebec City, CAW President Ken Lewenza joined with CAW Quebec Director Jean-Pierre Fortin in calling for all-party co-operation in the form of a Liberal-NDP government, supported by the Bloc Quebecois.  

"As Canadians and Quebeckers, we now have an incredible opportunity to finally see a progressive government in parliament," said Lewenza. "We're optimistic that the parties can come together to form a strong government and undo the damage that has been done by nearly three years of a Stephen Harper Conservative minority."

The Quebec Council, held twice a year, brings together 200 delegates from across the province to discuss and set policies for the union in Quebec. The Council traditionally supports the Bloc Quebecois federally and the Parti Quebecois provincially. 

The CAW's constitution recognizes Quebec's right to self-determination, with the Quebec Council and the CAW in Quebec (TCA-Québec) setting policies and initiatives fairly autonomously from the rest of union.  Lewenza re-affirmed this right in his speech to delegates on November 28, 2008.

During his address to delegates, Fortin also urged support for a coalition government. "More than 60 per cent of Canadians voted against the Stephen Harper Conservatives," said Fortin, who is also the Vice President of the Quebec Federation of Labour (Fédération des Travailleurs et Travailleuses du Québec).

"With a minority, the Conservative government has done considerable harm to Quebec and to Canada with its laissez-faire policies on job loss in manufacturing and forestry, its indifference towards environmental degradation and more recently with an attack on public sector workers and pay equity programs for women," said Fortin.

Across the country, the CAW will be mobilizing its members in support of a coalition government.

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