Québec solidaire (QS; locally [ke.bɛk sɔ.li.daɛ̯ʁ]) is a democratic socialist, social-democratic and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada. The party and media outlets in Canada usually use the name "Québec solidaire" in both French and English, but the party's name is sometimes translated as "Solidarity Quebec" or "Quebec Solidarity" in foreign English-language media.
|Leader||Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois|
|Spokesperson||Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois|
|Founded||February 4, 2006|
|Merger of||Union des forces progressistes (UFP),|
|Headquarters||533, rue Ontario Est|
|Seats in the National Assembly|
10 / 125
Québec solidaire was founded on February 4, 2006 in Montreal by the merger of the left-wing party Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and the alter-globalization political movement Option Citoyenne, led by Françoise David. It was formed by a number of activists and politicians who had written Manifeste pour un Québec solidaire, a left-wing response to Pour un Québec lucide. Pour un Québec lucide presented a distinctly neoliberal analysis of and set of solutions to Quebec's problems, particularly criticizing the sovereignty movement as distracting from Quebec's real issues and the Quebec social model as inefficient and out-of-date. Pour un Québec solidaire presented an alternate analysis, and later its writers formed the party Quebec solidaire, taking its name from the manifesto.
Françoise David and Amir Khadir were named as the two spokespersons at the party's founding.
Québec solidaire's first political venture was to field a candidate, Manon Massé, in an April 10, 2006 by-election in Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques. She received 22% of the vote. Six years later, she became QS' third MNA.
Québec solidaire contested the 2007 Quebec election. It won 3.65% of the popular vote and received 144,418 votes, 0.21% behind the Green Party of Quebec. They were also endorsed by the Montreal Central Council of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux which represents 125,000 members in Quebec. According to an analysis on Canadian Dimension, this was the first time a trade union in Quebec has endorsed a party more left-wing than the Parti Québécois.
On December 8, 2008, the first Quebec solidaire candidate was elected in the provincial election. Amir Khadir was elected in the Montreal riding of Mercier. He won his seat for the second term in the 2012 election along with another QS candidate Françoise David in the Montreal riding of Gouin. Subsequently, Khadir stepped down as co-spokesperson in accordance with QS party rules that stipulate one spokesperson must be from outside the legislature. André Frappier served as interim co-spokesperson until Andrés Fontecilla was chosen on May 5, 2013 to permanently fill the role. David and Frontecilla lead the party into the 2014 election where Manon Massé was elected in Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, becoming the party's third MNA, joining David and Khadir who were both re-elected.
On January 19, 2017, Françoise David announced her immediate retirement as both party spokesperson and as a Member of the National Assembly due to her health. Massé was named the interim spokesperson, and later announced she would be a candidate for the position on a permanent basis. In March, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, one of the leaders of the 2012 Quebec student protests, joined the party as its candidate for the Gouin by-election and a candidate for party co-spokesperson. On May 21, 2017, at the party's annual convention, Massé and Nadeau-Dubois were elected as the party's spokespeople.
At the 2017 party convention, the party voted against co-operation with the Parti Québécois, and agreed to begin talks with the centre-left sovereignist Option nationale party. On December 2, 2017, QS party members approved the merger. On December 10, ON members approved the merger, which gave them "collective" status within Québec solidaire.
In the 2018 election the party gained 7 more seats, bringing them to a total of 10, tying the Parti Québécois in seats.
On November 22, 2018, Québec solidaire, along with Parti Québécois, were granted official party status in the legislature. On March 20, 2019, the QS was officially recognized as the second opposition party, behind the Liberals and ahead of the Parti Québécois, after a PQ MNA left the party.
The aim of QS's foundation was to unify the sovereigntist left of the political spectrum in Quebec by merging the Union des forces progressistes (UFP) party with the Option citoyenne social movement. In addition to advocating the independence of Quebec from Canada, the party's platform identifies with the concepts of environmentalism, feminism, social justice, proportional representation and participatory democracy, pacifism, aboriginal rights, and alter-globalism. The party also favours immigration, human dignity, and opposes discrimination including racism, sexism and homophobia. QS describes itself as a sovereigntist, green, alter-globalizationist, and feminist party. It is the left-most of the four parties presently represented in the National Assembly.
At the party's founding, the congress unanimously adopted a document called the Déclaration de principes (declaration of principles) which laid out the principles and values that led the two organizations to merge. The declaration of principles does not specifically endorse social democracy, socialism or communism, although it includes certain activists and tendencies that do. The document declared:
- "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
- "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
- "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
- "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
- "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united Quebec")
- "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
As with its predecessors, Québec solidaire has no "party leader". Instead, the party practices collective leadership. The party's statutes call for it to be represented by a male and female co-spokesperson, one of whom serves in the dual role of party president. If one of the spokespeople is a member of the National Assembly, the other spokesperson remains outside of the legislature and holds the party presidency. They are sometimes referred to in the media as the de facto co-leaders of the party.
The duties generally entrusted to the leader in most other Canadian federal and provincial parties are instead divided among the president, secretary general and male and female spokespeople. The party leadership is assumed by the National Coordinating Committee, composed of 16 persons elected by the founding congress. A person from the team of volunteers will always have a seat. However, as Quebec's election laws requires the appointment of a leader, the party's secretary general, currently Gaétan Châteauneuf, is the de jure party leader recognized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec.
Françoise David and Amir Khadir were the two spokespersons at the party's founding. After the 2012 election where Françoise David won a seat for the first time and Amir Khadir was re-elected, Khadir stepped down as co-spokesperson so a new one could be chosen from outside the legislature. André Frappier served as interim co-spokesperson until Andrés Fontecilla was chosen on May 5, 2013 to permanently fill the role. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé became the current co-spokespersons of the party on May 21, 2017. Alexa Conradi was president from the foundation of the party until June 2009 after which Françoise David was named president-spokeswoman.
The national spokespersons of Québec solidaire have greater visibility than the secretary general and are best known. David has been named Personality of the Year by Le Point and Khadir is known for becoming the first elected member of the party, winning the provincial riding of Mercier in 2008.
The basic unit of the party is the local association. There is a local association for each of the 125 ridings in Quebec. These local associations are grouped into 19 regional associations, whose primary mandate to support the establishment of local associations. In March 2007, Québec solidaire has 61 local associations organized. Students and staff at institutions of higher education are grouped in campus associations that also participate in the democratic life of the party. Two national commissions are also part of the structure of Québec solidaire: the Political Committee and the National Commission for Women. The first is composed of 14 thematic committees and is responsible for proposing a program to members. It was responsible for drafting the electoral platform of the party in general elections of 2007. The National Commission for Women is composed of delegates from each region and is responsible for ensuring that feminism is a value which transverses the party.
Québec solidaire also includes a number of collectives, made up of members in good standing who may, in compliance with requirements, promote their respective political views within Québec solidaire. Unlike the UFP, these groups do not have formal representation in the Congress, the National Council or other bodies of the party. Current collectives include:
- Alternative socialiste, the Quebec section of International Socialist Alternative.
- Décroissance conviviale, a collective which promotes degrowth.
- Gauche Socialiste, the Quebec section of the reunified Fourth International.
- Laïcité, a collective which promotes the separation of church and state.
- Mass critique, an anti-capitalist collective.
- Socialisme Internationale, the Quebec membership of the International Socialists.
- Tendance Marxiste Internationale, the Quebec section of the International Marxist Tendency.
- Option nationale, formerly active as a separate electoral party from 2011 to 2017.
The Parti Communiste du Québec – Parti Communiste du Canada (PCQ-PCC), left QS following its merger with Option nationale in 2017.
- Danielle Maire (February 2006 – June 2006)
- Régent Séguin (June 2006 – July 2010)
- Bernard Larivière (July 2010 – February 2011)
- Thérèse Hurteau (February 2011 – March 2011)
- Régent Séguin (March 2011 – May 2013)
- Pierre-Paul St-Onge (May 2013 – June 2016)
- Gaétan Châteauneuf (June 2016 – present)
- Françoise David (February 4, 2006 – January 19, 2017)
- Manon Massé (January 19, 2017 – present; interim until May 21, 2017)
Current and former Members of the National AssemblyEdit
|MNA||District||Region||Years of Service
Bloc Québécois candidate in 2000
UFP activist and 2003 candidate
|Françoise David||Gouin||Montreal||2012-2017||Community organizer|
Women's rights activist
Option citoyenne founder and activist
|Manon Massé||Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques||Montreal||2014–present||Community centre worker|
LGBT and women's rights activist
|Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois||Gouin||Montreal||2017–present||Co-spokesperson for Coalition large de l'Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) during 2012 Quebec student protests|
|Catherine Dorion||Taschereau||Capitale-Nationale||2018–present||Writer & artist|
Progressive & Quebec sovereignty movement activist
Option nationale member
The first openly polyamorous person elected in Canada.
Parc-Extension / Villeray community organizer
UFP activist & Québec Solidaire spokesperson in 2013-2017
|Ruba Ghazal||Mercier||Montreal||2018–present||Certified accountant|
Workplace safety advocate
|Christine Labrie||Sherbrooke||Estrie||2018–present||Université de Sherbrooke lecturer|
Local historical society leader
Feminist Studies PhD graduate
|Alexandre Leduc||Hochelaga-Maisonneuve||Montreal||2018–present||UQAM Student body government member|
Labor union representative
|Émilise Lessard-Therrien||Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue||Abitibi-Témiscamingue||2018–present||Duhamel-Ouest Town Council Member
|Vincent Marissal||Rosemont||Montreal||2018–present||Journalist & newspaper columnist|
|Sol Zanetti||Jean-Lesage||Capitale-Nationale||2018–present||Leader of Option nationale in 2013-2018|
General election resultsEdit
|Election||# of candidates||# of seats won||Votes||Change +/-||% of popular vote||Position|
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