Immigration: tension rises in Quebec city

News 16 August, 2017
    The drivers in Quebec have been able to see, early Monday morning, a banner of several meters wide, installed above the highway Henri-IV, in the area of Sainte-Foy, by a right-wing group.

    Nicolas Lachance

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 00:00

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 00:00

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    While The Pack critiquera publicly the management of migrants at border crossings, the organization Welcomed the refugees wants to build a ” dam ” to this hatred, this Sunday, in Quebec city.

    • ON THE SAME SUBJECT: Couillard “concerned” by the far-right groups

    Tempers flare between far right groups and movements anti-racist, Quebec. Tuesday, Atalante, Quebec has installed many posters mentioning the slogan of ” remigration “, which advocates a reversal of migration flows.

    Then, group The Pack is preparing to “protest against the policies of the governments of Trudeau and Couillard” immigration Sunday. The Pack is said against the ” scourge of illegal immigration “, while thousands of Haitians knock on the door of Canada.

    Contacted by the Newspaper, The spokesperson of the Pack, Sylvain Brouillette, argues that the government lies to the population in the issue of migrants.

    “These are not refugees. They are committing an illegal act by crossing the border and being of asylum seekers “, he mentioned, rebutting the accusations of racism against his group.

    For security issues, the location of the gathering will not be transmitted until 19 August, said the spokesman.


    At the same time, the group Welcomed the refugees wants to raise the awareness of the population of the Quebec city region to the migrant reality. Thus, the organization has set up an event on Sunday called ” Barrage of hate “.

    “On 20 August, at 14 h, of the organizations of the extreme right have you to Quebec city to demonstrate at the call of The Pack. Let’s stop hatred and racism, ” one can read on the page Facebook that is promoting the event.

    “Let’s say that it is the logical continuation of the hypocrisy of the discourse of this group. At the beginning, it was to inform about radical islam, then to fight radical islam, but now we can see that this is truly a rhetoric that is anti-immigration, ” said Francois Deschamps, the spokesperson for the group.

    Violence ?

    He admits that there is always a risk of overflow when there is a counter-demonstration. However, the principal objective is to undermine the message of The Pack.

    “The purpose is mainly to prevent hate groups have the monopoly of citizen mobilization. The purpose is that they are not comfortable “, explained François Deschamps of Welcome to refugees.

    For his part, the spokesperson of The Pack ensures that, if there are overflows, they will not come out of his ” clan “.

    “Everyone has a right to express themselves. It is for the freedom of expression. We are a group of non-violent. It is an ordered grouping, ” said Sylvain Brouillette.

    The Service de police de Québec highlights to be ready, but will not reveal his strategy to frame the protesters. “You are always going to ask the population to remain calm “, advised Stephen Doyon, a spokesperson for the SPVQ.

    The camps speak

    “The case of the banners hateful Atalante recalls can be a lot of people, that the fight against discrimination and racism is an eternal recommencement “

    — François Deschamps, the spokesperson of Welcome to refugees

    “In all the movements, to the extreme left as the extreme right, you have fringes more inclined towards violence, that’s clear. But, I think that the level of violence in Quebec and in Canada, it remains rather marginal. We are not in the american situation “

    — David Morin, co-director of the Observatory on radicalization and violent extremism (OSR)

    “For what is racism, this is false. It is far from being a racist. It is against racism and violence, contrary to what others convey. There are subjects which are warmer and people are sometimes enraged to see what happens. So, yes, there may be slips “

    — Sylvain Brouillette of The Pack

    “I find it completely ridiculous that some are trying to limit the freedom of expression and association of people who think differently than them “

    — Rémi Tremblay, of the Federation of the Quebec strain

    Freedom of expression – A “counter-demonstration desirable”

    It is necessary to stand up against the ideas of The Pack that are driving the anxiety, and the discourse of the extreme right, supports the co-director of the Observatory on radicalization and violent extremism (OSR).

    “It is correct in a democratic system that the people representing The Pack to be able to make events. It shows that freedom of expression works, ” said David Morin, the vice-dean graduate studies and international affairs at the University of Sherbrooke and co-director of the Observatory on radicalization and violent extremism (OSR). “But, it is highly desirable, and pleasing to see that there are people who will stand up against the ideas they defend. “

    The expert supports that the major issue is not to silence the speech of anti-immigration, but to ensure that it will never be normalized and translated as any speech in the public sphere. “It is necessary to correct the falsehoods often abusive speeches of populist movements, of which the Pack is a little part” has meant that, Dr. Morin.

    The far-right

    The Pack is often depicted as a movement from the extreme right, near groups Atalante and the Federation of native-born Quebeckers, who feed on the hatred.

    “There is a movement groupusculaire which belong Atalanta and the Federation of native-born Quebeckers. They are quite close to ideas of the extreme right, like we find in Europe “, he illustrated. These are small groups that form and disperse, with a speech very radical. “

    However, The Pack refuses this label. And, according to Mr. Morin, they did can not be wrong, clarifying that this group is more like the populist movements of Europe, the more nationalistic and identity.

    “They are more conservative in the political sense of the term, and which, indeed, is composed of all sorts of people “, explained the vice-rector.

    However, these movements groupusculaires and these popular movements come together on certain topics, has issued the expert.

    “Particularly on the subject of immigration, which is fueling all fears “, he said. I am quite willing to believe the leaders of The Pack when they say that they are not racist. But what they must understand is that their speech, at the present time, feeds the extreme right, and the solutions that they offer, which are not solutions, will contribute to the deterioration of the social climate, reported Mr. Morin. They are fueling a sense of anxiety among the people. “