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There is no “refocusing” to be done at QS, maintains Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

Photo: Graham Hughes Archives The Canadian Press The solidarity co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, in October 2022

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois' call for pragmatism in no way constitutes a “refocus”, assures the main person concerned. The values ​​of Québec solidaire (QS), such as the distance from the capitalist model, will remain.

“It’s certain: capitalism is not a good system. We must transform it, we must ensure that the economy develops in the service of people, that the economy develops within the limits of ecosystems, of planetary limits,” argued the solidarity co-spokesperson , a few days before a national council where he will submit to the members his undertaking to modernize the program of left-wing political training.

“I am not proposing any renunciation », he continued.

Adopted in 2006 and updated in 2019, the solidarity program calls on society, “ultimately, [to] surpass capitalism “. He also advocates the abandonment of “waste with a view to reducing consumption” and calls for “the partial nationalization of the banking system”.

To (re)read

  • Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois wants to put QS “at the service of people”
  • Ideas | For a left at the service of the people, an open letter from Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
  • Support from the solidarity base for Nadeau-Dubois’ “pragmatic” shift
  • QS elected officials have good hope of undertaking the “pragmatic” turn of GND, despite the dissensions

However, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois wants to make the party's ideas more “pragmatic”. A proposal will therefore be presented to activists this weekend at the national council so that the program becomes “much shorter, free from overly precise political commitments, instead presenting the vision of solidarity […] in the face of major societal issues”.

Members will also have to vote on the “Saguenay Declaration”, a document in which the party leadership proposes to break with some of the historic positions of Québec solidaire. She thus wishes to make QS a “government party”.

A “fearful choice”

Almost two weeks ago, around forty activists, including former MP Catherine Dorion, called in a letter on solidarity to renounce the “GND”’s plea for the modernization of the party. “Where will this fearful choice to stay within the limits of “pragmatism” dictated by the media and economic elites lead us ? Our ambition is much greater than that,” they wrote.

In another missive, published Tuesday, notably in Le Devoir, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois replies: to be brought to power, the party will have to get closer to people's concerns. “Across the world, the left is losing its battles. At home, it’s time for her to start winning her elections,” he wrote.

It’s not a word I use, “refocusing”. This is not how I define my approach, because I am well aware that this word is often perceived as synonymous with betrayal or renunciation.

— Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

“We remain a party of members, democratic, but we need to spend less time in meetings and more time on the ground,” he adds.

Questioned about his writings on Tuesday morning, the elected official from Gouin was keen to assure that his approach did not rhyme with any refocusing of the party. “It’s not a word I use, ‘refocusing’. This is not how I define my approach, because I am well aware that this word is often perceived as synonymous with betrayal or renunciation,” he said.

“There is no question of refocusing at Québec solidaire. That’s not the conversation we’re having right now,” added interim co-spokeswoman Christine Labrie, present at his side on Tuesday.

Three days before the start of the national council, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois invites QS activists to “choose [their] battles.” “The key word that you hear me repeat a lot, because it is dear to my heart, is the word “prioritization”. We have to choose our battles. When we are elected as a government, we have four years maximum to implement the game plan that we presented to the voters,” he said.

Confidence always present ?

In a context where its leadership is shaken by the departure of its former co-spokesperson Émilise Lessard-Therrien, GND does not “give itself a figure” to achieve to measure the success of its proposal. In November, when he renewed his mandate as spokesperson, 90% of the solidarity delegates present at the conference in Gatineau had given their support to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

A few hours before, the 33-year-old MP had admitted to them that he had taken a “long walk” after accepting the 2022 electoral result. “I seriously asked myself: is it the right thing for my party that I remains in post ?” he said.

According to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, no vote of confidence is planned this weekend. “This is not a procedure that exists in our bodies at Québec solidaire, so it is not planned for the moment,” he said, before a communications manager confirmed it.

In the wake of Émilise Lessard-Therrien's departure, certain voices within the solidarity caucus were raised to ask their parliamentary leader to think about his future. Upon his return to the National Assembly, in an impromptu vote of confidence, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois received unanimous support from his deputies.

The national solidarity council will take place from next Friday to Sunday in Jonquière, in Saguenay.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116