Quebec farmers protest through streets

Mike Campbell

March 8, 2024

Inspired by European farmer protests, Quebec farmers have launched one of their own against government policies by slow-rolling their tractors through the streets of Rimouski.

Video surfaced Friday morning of the protest with visuals that an organizer said was intentional.

“We don’t want to make as much noise as in Europe, but we still want to have a visual impact,” said François Pigeon, a dairy farmer and director of the provincial Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA).

Pigeon further told Info-réveil that he hopes farmers throughout the province do the same. 

“We want the other regions to follow suit, follow suit, and then do an event every week.” 

“Several dozen” tractors and trailers were reported to have driven through the streets of Rimouski on Friday morning. 

Farmers won’t block traffic, Pigeon said, but want to slow it down.

The protest comes just days before the provincial budget is expected to be tabled. 

They traveled to various Minister’s offices during their protest, including the Ministère de l’Agriculture’s. 

“We want to be seen,” another regional UPA president, Sylvain Arbour, told a french podcast called Bon Pied, bonne heure!

“We all have the same fight, we are all in the same financial situation, and it is even worse in remote areas.”

Farmers in Quebec, in Canada, and in several countries throughout the world have been hampered by government mandated quotas and increased taxes – often to comply with environmental regulations.

Many have lost their livelihoods, forced out of the industry altogether. 

Just yesterday, in Prague, Czech farmers jammed up the streets with hundreds of tractors in protest of the EU’s agricultural policies.

More to come.

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