FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montréal, November 26th 2017.
This weekend, the Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec (AVEQ) was present at the 33rd convention of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ). With elections in the air and surrounded by words such as “individual liberties” and “attachment to Canada,” this convention was an opportunity to learn more about the PLQ’s objectives going forward.
Similar to the PLQ Youth Commission (CJPLQ) in August and the “Forum des idées” in September, the main resolution and speeches given during the convention focused on economic development in relation to issues ranging from regions to education. AVEQ is disappointed in the gaps in resolutions which adressed post-secondary education. “Despite making the effort to consider post-secondary education, the Quebec Liberal Party’s platform is hollow. The majority of resolutions brought forward at the convention related to economic development and entrepreneurship at CEGEPs and universities, thereby ignoring issues of substance such as funding and the accessibility of higher education institutions,” explained Perrine Argilès, General Coordinator of AVEQ.
AVEQ was also disappointed that no recommendations were made on the environment. “The Quebec Liberal Party portrays itself as the party of the future, but there are no recommendations for environmental protection, a crucial subject for the future and a central concern for young people in Quebec,” stated Häxan Bondu, Coordinator of Sociopolitical Affairs at AVEQ. “Some resolutions mentioned sustainable development or ‘the circular economy,’ but environmental considerations were barely discussed, if at all. Less than two weeks ago, 15,000 scientists warned of the planet’s critical situation. By failing to put forward serious proposals for environmental protection, the PLQ’s members have proven that they are disconnected from the issues of the future.”
AVEQ was pleased to see recommendations on the struggle against sexual violence and the needs of Indigenous peoples adopted, but believes that there is much more to do on these issues. We were also glad to see a regional resolution which sought to “put in place a new program for access to healthcare for international students, or regulate the programs offered by the private sector,” though details were not forthcoming. Finally, we wish to mention the adoption of a regional resolution in favour of financial compensation for the fourth stage in teaching. We worry, however, that this will eclipse the debate on the remuneration of internships across all fields, and fail to improve interns’ situation.
We wish to express solidarity with the demonstration which took place outside the PLQ convention. In light of the demonstration’s demands for “the withdrawal of proposed regulations for the law on hydrocarbons,” AVEQ reiterates its position against all oil and gas pipeline project. AVEQ also commends UEQ, FECQ, CADEUL, REMDUS, and FAECUM for their presence at the 33rd PLQ convention.
AVEQ’s mission is to defend both Anglophone and francophone students, with particular attention to the realities of students in the regions. AVEQ currently represents over 46,000 students across three member associations, and other association are actively participating in its creation.
Olivier Lacelle, Political Advisor