Community workers tell Duhaime their way of thinking

MONTREAL | Community workers were waiting for Éric Duhaime on Tuesday morning, after a press conference in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

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The Conservative leader was heading for the exit of the small gymnasium after an announcement on the francization of immigrants, when disgruntled community workers appeared with signs to challenge him about social housing.

The Conservative leader took the time to stop for a few minutes to explain his party’s position, which proposes giving direct financial aid to people in need rather than building new HLMs.

“It’s more of a policy that will help landlords increase rents, in HLMs, it’s a percentage of income, so it doesn’t matter what our income is…”, retorted Fanny Labelle, a literacy trainer at the organization Le tour de lire.

Éric Duhaime then explained that, in his view, it is preferable to help tenants directly, to avoid discouraging people from investing in private rental.

“Are you a tenant?” then asked Fanny Labelle.

“No, but I was for several years,” replied Mr. Duhaime simply, before heading for the exit.

“All they want is our votes”

“There are no accommodations! I represent the extreme poverty of the elderly, you are not listening to us sir”, launched Solange Laliberté, president of the Association for the Defense of Social Rights for Metropolitan Montreal (ADDS), to the Conservative leader as he crossed the gate.

Solange Laliberté deplores in particular that no political party responds to their concerns. “All they want is votes”, she said sorry after the departure of Éric Duhaime.

Meanwhile, older people living on welfare risk ending up homeless because rents are too high and checks are insufficient, she noted.

“What makes me the saddest is when I see old people being kicked out of their homes. Where do you want us to put them? Eh? Like the Nazis! The river?”

“All we have left are the parks. Worse they kick us out of the parks. There are tents, camps, we get kicked out,” concluded Freedom.


After the departure of Mr. Duhaime, the co-manager of the Tour de lire, Marie Labonté, said that the conservative leader “defiled” the facilities of the Community Education Pavilion by his presence on Tuesday.

“I do not understand why we would allow Mr. Duhaime, of the Conservative Party, whose values ​​are at odds with the values ​​which are advocated and which are defended by our popular education groups, it would just be incoherent”, a-t- she stated.

“We are not going to accept that he comes to defend his retrograde values ​​within our four walls. Let there be another place!”

She maintains, however, that autonomous popular education groups have no political biases and that today’s position aims to put forward the needs expressed by the people who frequent their groups.

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