Why more than 125,000 demonstrators in Montreal and Quebec City chanted 'no to austerity'

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: flickr Raynald Leblanc

Pour lire en français.

On November 29, more than 125,000 loudly chanting people declared that they reject the Couillard government’s austerity measures at a huge demonstration organized by civil society groups, student associations and trade unions. More than 25,000 people in Quebec and more than 100,000 in Montreal made it clear to the government that it has to stop turning a deaf ear to their message: the public does not agree with dismantling the Quebec state to sacrifice it on the altar of austerity. 

Quebec in serious danger

Spokespeople for the organizations firmly denounced the government’s bills that would slash public services and annihilate social justice. Its ultimate goal of cutting $6 billion is primarily an attack on the middle class, the underprivileged, women and seniors. Whether it’s about health and social services, early childhood and daycare, education, post-secondary education, the environment, labour relations, pensions, and other public services, but also in support for job creation and regional development and adequate funding for community organizations, the Couillard government is no longer listening to Quebeckers. They are impoverishing us and destroying the society we have built.

Austerity: disruptive

The demonstrators had a warning for Quebec’s leaders. We say no to austerity and we will continue to fight against it. We reject austerity, because it brings nothing positive to the province and its people. How many more times do we have to say it? The IMF and the OECD have been saying it repeatedly for months now: austerity puts countries into a state of economic crisis. It’s high time the Couillard government listened to its citizens before Quebec finds itself in the throes of a widespread and very long period of disruption.

What we want

We want a government that puts its citizens ahead of large corporations. We want a Quebec where everyone has a right to quality of life, regardless of income. We want a fair, egalitarian, democratic society that cares for the needs of its people.

Pour lire en français.

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.