While some Quebec solidaire deputies kept a portion of the salary increases they criticized, a third of the caucus will pay a large portion to OUI Québec, an organization that promotes independence.
The United Organizations for the Independence of Quebec (OUI Quebec), which took over from the Quebec Sovereignty Council, will receive at least a third if not more than a 30% increase in the salary paid this year to deputies Andrés Fontecilla, Alexandre Leduc , Ruba Ghazal and Sol Zanetti.
Calculations remain to be completed, but these should represent $6,000 to $10,000 each. The rest of their salary increase will be paid to other organizations.
This is what the four supportive deputies revealed, while our Parliamentary Office tried to check the commitment made by the QS to return the salary increase that it strongly opposed. The Parti Québécois also expressed its opposition, but the CAQ and Liberal representatives still adopted it in June.
Note that more than three months later, half of the deputies of the solidarity caucus have not announced what they will do with the increase, or who they will pay for, in whole or in part. This is particularly the case for Christine Labrie, Alejandra Zaga Mendez, Etienne Grandmont, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard and Manon Massé (in convalescence).
Representatives Fontecilla, Leduc, Ghazal and Zanetti, for their part, decided to take advantage of the opportunity to send a strong signal about their convictions of independence. It comes at a time when support for the PQ is rising in the polls.
“Sometimes we are beaten on the back, by Québec Solidaire, by saying that we are not really independents, or even not independents at all,” said Alexandre Leduc, explaining what motivated him to give back to YES Quebec.
“I know why I am in politics, it is among other things because of that (independence). There are many other reasons of course, but I have always been an independent since my secondary 4 history class, he said.
If they support YES Quebec, it is mainly because they have been able to observe, in Scotland and Catalonia, similar civil society organizations that promote independence, beyond partisan lines.
“If one day we want to achieve independence,” explained Ruba Ghazal, it will take more than political parties, according to him. “It is very important that civil society also promotes freedom,” believes the member of Mercier.
Protected from chicanes
For Sol Zanetti, organizations like OUI Québec have the advantage of reaching those who have the impression that sovereign parties are “always arguing.” “YES Quebec, they are not arguing with anyone,” he emphasized.
However, we remember that in 2017, the organization found itself at the center of the conflict between the PQ and Solidarity members that ended in a failed attempt at a political alliance.
Do solidarity groups still have issues to take up with OUI Québec? “A lot of water has flowed under the bridge,” replied Mr. Zanetti, highlighting the youth transformation the organization has undergone in recent years, with Camille Goyette-Gingras, who replaced Claudette Carbonneau at the helm.
With variable geometry
The parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, has already declared that he will spend his entire salary increase on food security organizations.
In an interview on QUB radio, the deputy for Maurice-Richard, Haroun Bouazzi, recently revealed that he will keep two-thirds of his increase to pay off his debts. Vincent Marissal also explained that he will keep part of it for himself, without giving details.
“We decided not to interfere in people’s personal finances,” Ruba Ghazal summed up in an interview.