Québec solidaire delegates vote to strengthen climate change policy


Quebec solidaire members spend the weekend hammering out the party’s new electoral platform. A key priority for a QS government would be tackling climate change.

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Pressed by its most militant members, Québec solidaire voted on Saturday to strengthen its already severe policy in the fight against climate change.

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But they rejected even more radical ideas such as nationalizing oil companies and banning automobiles of all kinds by 2030.

In a heated exchange at its political convention to prepare a platform for the 2022 elections, delegates approved a resolution to increase the proposed emission reduction target levels by 45 percent from the levels. from 1990 to 55 percent by 2030.

Quebec’s goal would be to be carbon neutral by 2050, says the resolution.

The current objective of the Coalition Avenir Québec government is to reduce greenhouse gases to 37.5% of 1990 levels.

But following new scientific evidence on the feasibility of reducing gas further and the debate at the COP-26 climate change conference, members chose to go beyond the 55% target than they had in their own draft policy which was distributed to the riding association. before the congress which takes place this weekend in Montreal.

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The decision follows an earlier argument by QS co-spokespersons, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé, to create the “greenest political platform” of all the parties that will campaign in the 2022 elections.

Nadeau-Dubois argued for a realistic policy, saying that by setting a firm target of 65%, as some riding associations wanted, the party would lose credibility with voters.

“We don’t have to choose between ambition and feasibility,” Nadeau-Dubois told reporters. “We have to do both. We must be the most credible and the most ambitious. This is what the climate emergency calls for. It is our historical responsibility.

He said that for the upcoming campaign, QS needs to better reflect the needs of ordinary people than during the 2018 campaign.

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“We have to demonstrate that QS not only has good ideas and good values ​​but that we can put concrete proposals into practice,” he said.

Some members, however, insisted on more, saying only a 65% target would wake up big polluters.

“We cannot just put a band-aid on the gangrene,” argues Hélène Bissonnette, member of the Marxist Tendency Collective, the international wing of QS.

In the end, members took the advice of delegate Marc Bonhomme, who told the conference that going 65 percent means leaving the current capitalist system altogether and living as a socialist state.

Delegate Olivier Huard added: “If we have ambitious policies but the population does not follow us… there is a limit to the education that a political party can do.

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The plan adopted by QS also proposes to prohibit the exploitation of any hydrocarbon on Quebec territory as well as the creation of a vast public network of electric railway lines for the transport of people and goods.

QS would nationalize all renewable energy industries (solar or wind) in order to better plan for the overall needs of Quebec.

To end waste and increase the lifespan of communications devices and equipment, a QS government would ban planned obsolescence and guarantee the right to repair property. The government fees required of companies exploiting Quebec’s water resources would be radically increased.

Later, during a debate on QS’s plan to make Quebec an independent country, delegates voted in favor of a resolution to abolish the post of lieutenant governor of Quebec and end the oaths of allegiance of deputies to the queen.

The conference continues Saturday Sunday. About 400 QS delegates attend.

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