Display pre-election: unions requested an injunction against the City of Quebec

Affichage préélectoral: des syndicats demandent une injonction contre la Ville de Québec

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
A coalition of trade unions has posted in several cities of the posters that mark their opposition to the policies of the PLQ and the CAQ.

The trade union coalition has seized the courts for an injunction as early as next week to force the City of Quebec, to allow him to make the display supporter against François Legault and Philippe Couillard.

“We’re going to make an application for a preliminary injunction, we hope to advocate as early as next week,” said Wednesday the spokesman of the coalition, which represents six unions, Denis Bolduc. “It is necessary that there is a space for the political message in Quebec outside of that reserved for politicians. “

In recent weeks, his group has raised about 200 signs to Quebec city to denounce the liberal Party and the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) to the approach of the election campaign. On the latter, François Legault and Philippe Couillard share the same face.

Holding that it was contrary to its planning regulations, the City has removed the posters at the beginning of last week. The next day, the trade union Coalition filed a formal notice, but a few days later, it was suggested in the media that the City seemed open to a compromise. However that did not turn out. “The City has refused to issue a certificate of authorization to display placards,” says Mr. Bolduc.

In parallel with this, the coalition has bought huge billboards in the vicinity of two major highways of Quebec to see his posters, anti-CAQ and PLQ. An addition that does not change anything, however, the dispute with the City, since these panels are not subject to municipal regulation.

Saint-Jérôme retreats

According to our information, the rental of a large panel of this kind can easily cost between 6000 and 7000 $. In addition to those of Québec, the coalition has hired four in the Montreal area on the South and North.

When we pointed out to her that she is investing hard in this campaign, the spokesperson replied that ” this is not even the equivalent of $ 1.25 per member of CUPE “.

The canadian Union of public employees (CUPE) is one of the six unions gathered within the coalition that drives this campaign display. With its 116 000 members, this corresponds to a little less than 145 000 $ of investment, not to mention the lawyer fees related to the arm wrestling with the City of Quebec, and that the other five unions have invested.

During this time, the City of Saint-Jérôme — the only one from Quebec to have wanted to withdraw the posters — has decided to reconsider its decision. “The interpretation of the DGEQ on the nature of the message conveyed and the imminence of the campaign causes us to review our position “, reported the spokesperson.

According to the daily La Tribune, the City of Sherbrooke is considering removing the posters, but the union said Wednesday, not yet having received no notice of violation.

In Quebec, the electoral Law regulates not political ads purchased before the start of the campaign.

Gold with the elections now at a fixed date, the DGEQ does not exclude the possibility of recommending to Parliament any changes. We wondered if the current situation and the advertisements, such as that of the coalition of trade unions does not harm the principle of equity between all parties.

In Ontario, for example, a new law limits to $ 600,000 in expenditures on advertising that can make an organization other than a political party (a union, for example) in the six months before the outbreak of the campaign.

Gold in January, the trade union coalition of ontario Working Families has filed a court action to challenge the constitutionality of the act in arguing that it brimait his fundamental rights in relation to freedom of expression.

Asked if his union would do the same thing if such a law had been passed in Quebec, Denis Bolduc replied that the question was ” hypothetical “. His union will, however, plead, also, the freedom of expression in its application for injunction in the next week.