Québec feminist solidarity committee denounces silencing of women’s voices

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QUEBEC – Following the resignation of Émilise Lessard-Therrien as co-spokesperson, the national women’s council of Québec Solidaire denounced the muzzling of women and “the growing influence of undemocratically elected people” within the party.

The council said it has repeatedly raised the alarm about the problem.

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“The testimonies of disappointed, demobilized former candidates, women from various constituencies, associations or authorities, as well as recurring tensions regarding parity accumulate and constitute a worrying group that highlights a crucial issue that is imperative to address.” she said in a message posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

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He also expresses concern that “male voices are increasingly dominant within Québec solidaire authorities, staff and elected officials.”

“The fundamental principles of the party, such as parity, are questioned or branded as ‘radical’, with the risk of silencing many women,” she says.

“One thing is clear: it is imperative to let women speak and stop muzzling their ideas or interventions so that they correspond to a certain image.”

Council leader Royse Henderson writes that Lessard-Therrien’s resignation “highlights a deep crisis within Québec Solidaire, a crisis that calls into question the place of women and the voice of activists in the party.”

Henderson expressed concern about “the growing influence of people who are not democratically elected, who make crucial decisions about the party’s communication and media direction without being accountable to members.”

The party’s new acting co-spokesperson, Christine Labrie, said she takes the commission’s message “very seriously.”

“In my opinion, QS is not a boys club. That does not mean that there are not best practices to adopt to ensure that it is a place of development for all, especially women,” she said Tuesday morning at a press conference at the National Assembly.

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Former co-spokesperson Manon Massé said QS has experienced “crises and storms” since its founding and that these are opportunities to evolve.” However, an opportunity can turn into a nightmare if there is no trust and kindness.” she wrote on her Facebook page..

“Despite the wounds and disagreements, experience tells me that it is never good for the left to seek to resolve their disagreements in the public square,” he added.

In his resignation, Lessard-Therrien criticized the “small team of professionals closely intertwined” with Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Last Friday, two employees and close associates of Nadeau-Dubois resigned from the party.

Last week, the parliamentary leader came to present his vision, stating that he wants QS to become a “government party” with a more “pragmatic” program and a lighter structure.

“I have confidence in Gabriel and I am willing to carry out all the necessary discussions to lead QS to victory,” Massé also wrote on Tuesday.

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