Philippe Couillard stands firm on pension reforms
Union leaders warn workers will mobilize if province refuses to hear their concerns
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is not backing down over his government’s controversial pension reform bill, despite pressure from municipal workers, police and firefighters.
Over the weekend, Couillard reiterated his commitment to balancing the budget by 2015-2016.
“I've always stood very clearly, that we want to balance the budget, we want to reduce the weight of the state in the economy,” Couillard said in front of about 400 members of the Quebec Liberal Party Youth Wing at their convention in Sherbrooke on Sunday
Bill 3 would force municipal workers to shoulder part of a $4 billion provincial pension shortfall.
The proposed legislation — opposed by blue and white collar workers, has prompted increasing pressure tactics, including protests and sticker campaigns.
- Quebec municipal employees stop work to protest pension bill
Marc Ranger is the spokesperson for the coalition of municipal unions.
He said the fight will only get bigger if the province refuses to listen to their concerns.
“If [Couillard] thinks the labour movement will not organize towards this attack, he's wrong," Ranger said.
"If he thinks he can do whatever he wants because he got a majority last election, he's wrong too."
Parliamentary hearings on Bill 3 are scheduled to start on Aug. 20.