For immediate release – Press release
CAQ to the penalty box
Hundreds of community organizations closed for the day
Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, Monday, October 25, 2021 — More than 500 organizations from across Quebec are now united with a first day of closures and other actions aimed at alerting elected officials to the pressing needs of the autonomous community action movement.
This first day represents the launch of a series of actions and temporary closures of community organizations across Quebec, that will culminate in a wave of strikes, closures and suspended activities during the week of February 20, 2022, as part of the Engagez-vous pour le communautaire campaign.
Community organizations are running out of steam with their long history of chronic underfunding, poor working conditions, and threats to their autonomy.
Despite the government’s promises to better support community organizations, and considering the essential role they played during the pandemic in helping the most vulnerable, we were shocked that no mention of the community sector was made in the Prime Minister’s inaugural speech last Tuesday.
The day after this speech, as proposed by the governement, a motion was adopted to recognize the contribution of all autonomous community organizations to the social and economic transformation of Quebec. However, the time for fine words is over and must give way to concrete actions. “The CAQ government made a commitment in the last election to better support community organizations, but we are left waiting. We are an essential part of our social safety net. Today is a first penalty call for the CAQ, with a series of closures and actions that will lead up to the adoption of the next budget”, explains Caroline Toupin, spokesperson for the Engagez-vous pour le communautaire campaign and coordinator of the Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome (RQ-ACA).
“Long before the pandemic, the lack of funding was already a problem. The health crisis shows that the community sector has always been on the front line to meet the needs of the population, especially the most vulnerable. Today, we are asking the government to help us accomplish our missions by giving us the necessary means to do so », insists Brigitte Robert, project manager for the Table de concertation Solidarité Ahuntsic.
About the campaign
Engagez-vous pour le communautaire is a major national mobilization campaign that unites all sectors of autonomous community action groups across Quebec. It aims for a more just society where human rights are fully respected.
Autonomous community action organizations are calling for: the respect of their autonomy; an additional recurring and indexed investment of $ 460 million toward mission-based funding by the 2022 budget; as well as concrete actions to achieve social justice.
About the RQ-ACA
The RQ-ACA is the government’s primary interlocutor in matters of autonomous community action, and represents 64 national groups and organizations.
There are 4,000 organizations, 60,000 workers and 425,000 volunteers who have worked for over 50 years toward making Quebec a fairer, greener and more inclusive society.
Sabrina Martin, TACT 418 515-3632, email@example.com
Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome