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Social justice

FIRST NATIONS RIGHTS

First nations culture and languages are part of the canadian and quebecers identity, as is environmental protection. A nation to nation relationship includes consensus, far beyond consultation. This relation needs to be built on equality between two nations. We need to recognize the fact that the canadian and quebec government has mistreated and demeaned first nations during a very long time. It is our duty to change the situation.

For far too long, we didn’t treat first nations with the respect they deserve. We forced our views, our ways of doing and our economic development projects. Furthermore, we took measures to destroy their languages, their religion and their culture. European colonialism had devastating effects on first nations. They were the victims of a government implemented genocide that also eradicated their culture.

We need to remember that first nations were established on the north-american territory way before any europeans. They were occupying the land before the arrival on europeans. Governments consistently tried to dominate first nations without giving them what they deserved. The Green Party proposes :

Follow Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

This commission has formulated 94 recommendations that aim to strengthen relations with first nations. The Green Party supports all those recommendations and would implement them in provincial legislation during its first mandate.

Between 2015 and 2018, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with first nations highlighted the controversy with residential schools, how the government mistreated first nations and ways to correct past mistakes and how to move forward.

Social and territorial autonomy

The Green Party supports the right of autodetermination of first nations. First,  for territorial management, first nations should have the right to block development or exploitation projects on ancestral land. Second, for social management, first nations should have the right to organize their social services, in particular to reduce the number of children sent to foster families that are not native. The agreement that has been reached with the Attikamek community is an example to follow.

Formal recognition of Native Government

The Green Party supports the official recognition of native governments in the Canadian constitution. It would guarantee the same level of recognition of provincial and canadian governments.

Return to traditional ways of governing

The Green Party considers that the Indian Act of 1876, which is still in effect, is a fundamentally racist legislation. It was designed to retrieve all first nations autonomy in accordance to the colonialist views of the era. It deprives first nations of their autonomy and their fundamental rights.  

Particularly, this legislation prevents first nations to preserve their traditional way of governing. The Green Party supports the idea that this legislation should be overturn because it still reflects racist and colonialistic views. It would help first nations to transition to a traditional way of governing.

Conservation of native languages

At the moment, if nothing is done, numerous native languages face extinction. If the Green Party is elected, it would make available different resources to help preserve native languages. We would help to teach native languages to the youths by implementing free language classes like we propose for french and english.

In Quebec, many native languages are endangered. At the moment, it is very difficult to have access to native language courses and there is very little opportunities to learn. It is a linguistic loss that also contribute to a culture and identity loss. We recognize that governments successfully implemented measures to stop natives from speaking their language and to (...). We also recognize that no measures can compensate for what has happened before but it is our duty to do everything in our power to preserve native languages.

At the moment, there is too few people that speak native languages. The Huron language doesn’t have any speakers in Quebec, Abenaki solely half a dozen and Micmacs 750. Algonquin and Mohawk languages are spoken by respectively 4700 and 2500 people. The situation is urgent and we need to act now.

Natives rights outside of reserves

The Green party believes that the Indian act trample the rights of first nations that live outside of reserves. Mentalities need to change to ensure reconciliation with first nations. This has been confirmed by two supreme court judgements, Tsilhqot’in in 2012, and Daniels in 2016.

Legalisation of marijuana and First Nations

The Green party wishes that first nations should have to right to regulate, sell, tax, export or ban the use of cannabis in their communities.

Immigration, refugees and secularism

Interculturalism and living-together

The Green party believes that cultural diversity is one the wealth  of Québec and it should be celebrated. For that reason, we encourage diversity of cultural events, the sharing of traditions as well as more exchange between the different communities that compose the society in the province.

Refugees

We also believe that Quebec and Canada should accept more refugees to offer opportunities to those in need. People that flee from conflicts, political repression or discrimination and because of the climatic crisis should have the possibility to find a safe place to live.

Solidarity is something that has to be both in speeches and actions. It is both our international and personal duty to treat asylum seekers with with respect, dignity and in a human way. We need to to help them to the best of our ability.

Summer of 2017 has already seen numerous asylum seekers from the United States. We believe that the climate of instability caused by the election of a problematic president forces Québec to a greater solidarity with those who are trying to flee from the United States.

IMMIGRATION

The Green Party is in favor of the rise of the annual threshold for immigration. We believe that rising the limit 20% to attain 60 000 per year would benefit the economy, would reunite families and would benefit Quebec’s society.

We are supportive of a greater and quicker recognition of diplomas obtained outside of the countries to attain a better integration of immigrants both economically and socially. This measure would be made possible by a state funded program that would ensure the formation and conversion of diplomas. A mentorship program would also be beneficial for immigrants, giving them access for many years to workers in Québec. However, immigration should not solely be seen as an economic measure to satisfy the need of workers in businesses. Immigration should also be seen as a tool to reunite families and selection criterias for immigrants should not solely be of an economic nature. The government of Québec should help immigrants to go and live in all regions of Québec. It should be made possible by positive measures that create an advantageous environment.  For example, an immigrant could be accepted on the condition to accept a job in rural areas.

Secularism of institutions- Liberty of individuals

The Green Party supports the secularity of public institutions like schools, the national assembly and all municipal and provincial institutions.

However, we support liberty of religion for individuals and we are opposed to every legislation that would attack individual liberties, including the right to display your faith with religious symbols or clothing. The government does not have the right to impose a dress code that is contrary to the canadian constitution.

We believe that the display of a religious symbol doesn’t prevent an individual to fulfill their responsibilities. Judges, prosecutors, prison guards, police officers, teachers, doctors, engineers, nurses or any professions will not be affected by religious symbols.

The Green Party supports the idea that it is time to remove the crucifix in National Assembly.

PUBLIC SECURITY

The best way to fight against criminality is to ensure that our society is well educated, prosperous, just and healthy. It starts with a strategy that focuses on prevention.

Police formation, special constables, special inspectors, public transport inspectors

We agree that the training for police officers is hard. However, all social issues that police officers have to face like homelessness, sexual aggression, demonstrations or interventions in socially marginalized groups prove that specific training could be beneficial. This profession has a vast part of social intervention and the training nowadays focuses on technical interventions instead of focusing on social issues.

The Green Party of Quebec would improve police training on different levels. First, we want to implement mandatory social science cegep courses like psychology, sociology and technical intervention in delinquency. It would ensure a good field intervention preparation for police officers as well as sensibilisation to social issues. Police forces should acknowledge society dynamics and understand the impact that their profession can have. We recommend, the implementation of internships and training within the community to make sure  they can practice field intervention. Finally, we recommend, a progressive disarmament of police patrollers, as Norway New-Zealand and Great-Britain started doing. At the same time, we recommend more training to defuse conflicts, to avoid the use of weapons. Numerous alternatives exists to control individuals, like group strategies just to name one.

The Green party would like to improve training practices for new police officers, special constable, and public transport agents while offering continuous training for existing officers. Social issues that officers will encounter on a day to day base need to be addressed in their training.

INDEDEPENDANT INVESTIGATION BUREAU

The provincial government created in 2013 the Bureau d’enquète indépendante (BEI), mandated to investigate in the event of serious injury or death occurring during a police intervention. The BEI has been criticized for hiring numerous retired police officers instead of independent citizens. The lack of transparency has been notorious in particular because the result of investigations are not made public. The Green Party proposes to correct those lacks to restore confidence in the police departments in québec.

BODY CAMERAS ON POLICE OFFICERS

In many north-americans jurisdictions, police officers are equipped with body cameras that allow to capture footage of police interventions. While Québec has already experimented with body cameras, the Green Party believes that cameras should be implemented everywhere in Québec. We also believe that cameras should always be activated, instead of letting the police officers decide when to turn it on. Camera footage should be accessible, to the general public if they make the request.

DRUG USE : PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE VIA NON-CRIMINAL APPROACH

The Green Party of Québec supports decriminalization of all drugs to ensure that resources are focused  on fighting problems associated with drug used and give the proper healthcare. Opioid crisis is becoming a major issue in our society and we cannot continue a criminal approach that doesn’t work. It is our duty to to follow a human and fact-based approach (or political in the event that data is not available). The Green Party, supports access to injection clinics that allow consumer to inject safely and to have access to resources that can favor the treatment of drug addiction. Also, decriminalizing drugs will allow resources to be redirected from the inefficient war against drugs. At the moment, a lot of resources are wasted in the judicial system which is already overwhelmed. Those resources will be allowed to give better social services and raise awareness in the general public.  

SERVICES FOR SENIORS

For too long now, we let the private sector take care of the services for our elders. It is now very expensive to give basic services to our elders, like access to drugs, dental services and long-term care in residency. This very profitable industry gives an unfair advantage for the wealthy, and leaves behind everyone that doesn’t have the means to pay for services. The Green Party proposes 5 measures to take good care of our elders :

  • Improve the CHSLD network and improve the quality of life in private residences.
  • Guarantee a minimum revenu for elders of 20 000$ per year to get them out of poverty.
  • Establish a free and universal public dental care program.
  • Create Pharma-Québec. This public company would give access to free prescription drugs for the public.
  • Implement free adapted public transport.

Also, the Green Party supports the development of social economy services that would ensure at-home services for autonomous and semi-autonomous people. It would help save huge amounts of money in hospitalisation while also creating jobs in the service sector ( household maintenance , collective kitchens, food trucks, personal care,etc.)

In retirement homes, the Green Party wishes to expand the system of integration of elders to adapt it to personal needs. It would benefit the elders by procuring an accomplishment and self-fulfilling feeling.

INTERNET ACCESS

The Green Party of Québec wishes to guarantee internet access to every people in Québec, in particular people in rural areas. Numerous regions suffer from the lack of internet access. Access to internet, is a fundamental tool in a modern society. It gives access to information and means of communications that everybody should have access to. Internet access is also a prerequisite for numerous services. It also allows to fight against social discrimination that follows its deprivation.

The Green Party wishes to guarantee access to cellular network for every citizens in Québec. It is often lacking in regions, creating further inequalities between rural and urban areas.

WOMEN'S RIGHTS

The Green Party is a feminist party. We see that equality between men and women is far from being attained. For example, women are often paid less, prone to suffer from violence and systemic oppression from the state, of capitalism, masculinist culture and patriarchy. At the moment, only 27.2% of deputies in Québec are women. Numerous challenges still lay ahead but the Green Party proposes to implement the following measures immediately :

BAN CAT-CALLING

In Québec, a vast number of women suffer from sexual harassment in the streets. They are rarely sanctioned. Those gestures are not always severe enough to be criminally convicted but it should nonetheless be illegal. For that reason, the Green Party proposes to put in place provincial legislation ( outside of the criminal code) that would impose fines for those who are convicted of vulgar sexual comments that are not solicited. Implementation of this law would function similarly to sanctions that surround jaywalking. This symbolic measure would not only exclude this practice from social norms but would also give the means necessary to police officers to intervene.

FIGHT AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE CULTURE

The Green Party wishes to implement a multidisciplinary strategy to prevent sexual assault :

  • Talk about consensual sexual relations and respect in every curriculum both in elementary and high school. In colleges, universities and technical schools, consent workshops would be mandatory.
  • Implement a publicity campaign to raise awareness on what is sexual harassment in workplace. We would also update the labor code to protect further the victims of sexual harassment and rape in a work environment.
  • Fight against rape culture by implementing measures that aim to raise awareness on consent, sexual harassment and to understand psychological and physical consequences that it can cause.
  • Reinforce the concept that individuals have full control of their body. Starting in elementary school, we should teach kids that they are the sole owners of their bodies, that they can say no to sexual advances, and that they don't have to submit to anyone, including members of their family.

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT AND REPRIMAND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

  • Implement intensive training against sexual violence for all police officers and prosecutors in Québec. This measure would benefit the investigation and denouncing process, to ensure more respect for victims and develop police and judicial competencies.
  • Adapt the labor code to offer paid leaves for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. Under this policy, leaves could be prescribed by CLSC, social workers, doctors or support centers for victims. These leaves would be paid for by the minister of social services to assure the financial burden does not fall on the victims. This time would give the opportunity for victims to heal, to file a complaint and to leave their domestic partner without compromising their financial situation.
  • Offer free psychotherapy services to anyone in need, particularly the victims of sexual violence.
  • Bring financial support for all programs that fight against domestic violence et women’s center.

FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUALITY

  • Fight for solidarity and and rights of  women from ethnical groups. The Green Party propose to fight against racism by promoting intersectional feminism and to ensure good representation of racialized women in affirmative action programs. For many years, women in Québec have accomplished a lot of progress. However, intersectional factors have meant that equality is very far from being attained within native women communities and those from ethnic groups.
  • Fight for a better representation of women in traditionally man dominated groups. The labor code would be adapted to ban all harassment and unfair treatment of those women. The Green Party supports a division of labor that is less divisive between genres. To attain this goal we propose the construction of a new CEGEP focused on teaching sciences ( in particular physics and engineering) which are typically male dominated fields that would be forced to respect gender equality.
  • Fight against hypersexualisation of girls by banning sexualisation in advertising in Québec. The Green Party supports the obligation for media's to indicate if a picture has been modified. We would also implement a minimal body mass index to be hired as a model or for personal images of your person or companies. We wish to implement  an ethics course for advertising companies to raise awareness on the impacts of advertising on societies. We would also implement legislation that would give equal rights to women regarding dress codes. The Green Party wishes to finance a non-profit organization that would analyze sexism and hypersexualisation in advertising.
  • Reach equal-pay following the model adopted in Iceland where companies have to prove that they pay men and women equally, with salaries based on their capabilities, responsibilities and added value to the company. Intersectional issues should also be taken in consideration because equality is far from being reached for native women and women from ethnic groups. At the moment, companies are not forced to prove the equality in their pay structure.
  • Reach parity at the national assembly. By implementing a proportional voting system and quotas for women candidates that would be implemented for a period of two general elections. Implement parental leave for elected officials and improve the financing for mentoring programs.

LGBTQIA2+ RIGHTS

The Green Party believes that the government of Québec needs to put more efforts against intimidations, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. This fight would start in schools, but has to continue throughout society. Citizens from sexual and gender minorities groups have equal rights and intolerance needs to be fought against. Gender and sexual diversity as well as openness is one of Québec’s pride and should be celebrated.

TRANS PEOPLE’S RIGHT

We believe that official documents in Québec should give the voluntary option to choose a gender or have a neutral option for those who do not identify to the masculin or feminin genre. We also support the idea of gender neutral bathrooms in every public institutions.

YOUTH AND SCHOLAR ENVIRONMENT

We want to further support members of marginalized communities by creating LGBTQIA2+ youth centers everywhere in Quebec in particular in rural regions. This is where those communities need the most resources. We also believe that we need to adapt financial measures for LGBTQIA2+, people of color and native people communities.

We wish to implement a sexual education classes reform that would be implemented in high schools. It should also reflect issues of sexual and gender minorities. We also support the establishment of support groups to students from sexual and gender minorities in every school in addition to gender neutral bathrooms.

REORIENTATION THERAPY

Homosexuality and gender transition are not diseases. Therapies that aim to cure those are homophobic, transphobic and need to be reported and condemned. The Green Party believes that those therapies should be banned as soon as possible to protect the general public, in particular minors.

ADOPTION AND PARENTALITY

Concerning adoption and parentality, we consider that homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. There is no compromise to do for equality between citizens and we believe that homosexual couples as competent as heterosexual couples to raise children.

FIGHT AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARD LGBTQIA2+

Unfortunately, homophobia, transphobia and intolerance gives a very suitable environment for acts of violence. As a progressive society, it is our duty to fight against any form of violence. It implies to fight against every form of homophobia in every aspect of our society. We need to establish structures that would facilitate prevention and reporting of violence against those communities in Québec.

FORMAL EXCUSES

Within the last couple of year, the federal government has officially apologized to LGBTQIA2+ communities. The city of Montreal and its police department has also presented its official apologies to this community concerning acts of police brutality, violent police raids towards this community and their establishments. A Green Party government would officially apologize to the LGBTQIA2+ community and would still continue to act to fight for equality.

PRISONS, DETENTION CONDITIONS AND REHABILITATION

While there will always be people that need to be put in jail, we believe that the province of Québec should focus its approach on prevention, rehabilitation, and social reinsertion instead of putting people behind bars. Here is a few measures that we propose to implement in the prisons of Québec.

PROMOTE REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION IN THE PRISON SYSTEM

The Green Party of Québec believes that the prison and judicial system should aim to improve their rehabilitation programs by putting the necessary funds to make them successful. Rehabilitation is the best way to fight against recidivism. Inmates should have the option to pursue their education during their sentence. Education in the prison system should take in consideration inmates reality and their special needs. It implies a personal follow up as well as personalized and added help. The Green Party wishes to implement better access to psychotherapist, social workers and social reinsertion experts. It would increase chances for convicts to contribute to society at the time of their release.

SPECIALIZED COURTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Quebecs municipal court recently put a program in place that accompany criminals convicted of minor offenses to keep them out of the prison system. This program, established in 2014, offers a multidisciplinary approach that aims to help with rehabilitation, social reinsertion and access to employment.

DETENTION CONDITIONS

Rehabilitation means to have human and safe detention conditions, psychotherapy, and other activities that aims to facilitate social reinsertion of convicts. At the moment, austerity measures have severe consequences on the detainees. Education is less and less accessible for prisoners, some women are forced to stay in male prisons and detention conditions are deplorable. Those detention conditions are unacceptable and need to be changed. The convicts are human beings that need to be treated equally.

STOP SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

Studies prove that solitary confinement causes insomnia, confusion, hallucinations and despair. This practice is qualified of ‘’risky and fundamentally dangerous’’ by the office of the correctional investigator and is similar to torture according to the United-Nations special investigator. He recommends a 15 consecutive days limit. The Green Party proposes to abolish this practice and would impose a 5 days limit for at risk detainees.

FIGHT AGAINST RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION

The province of Québec is largely open and welcoming to minorities. However, racist people do exist and are sometimes in position of power. To tackle the issue, it is essential that our society fights against systemic racism. It is crucial to ensure that every citizens have the same opportunities and that everyone lives in a society free of discrimination.

The Green Party proposes to :

  • Establish a permanent council to fight against racism, composed of people of a variety of ethnic groups. It would be mandated to research and advise the government on legislation, make information available to the general public and fight against racism.
  • Fight for labor accessibility by implementing incentives policies and put minimal requirements for the hiring process of public and parapublic institutions.
  • Raise awareness on racism realities and include a course in the elementary and high schools curriculums. This course would address racism against people of  color and first nations, sexism, homophobia (among others). It would also sensitize the public to notions of privilege, colonialism, systemic environmental and economical discrimination.
  • Fight for justice by promoting a strict application of the criminal code for heinous crimes, while sharing information to the general public to reassure communities and dissuade potential criminals.
  • Stop racial profiling by implementing disciplinary measures and giving compensations toward victims.
  • Start an advertising campaign to raise awareness against all forms of racism.
  • Increase the diversity in the media, in the public services, and subsidized cultural events by imposing quotas.

 

Green Party of Quebec