TaCEQ executive resigns citing “degrading situation“

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The resignation of an executive from the Quebec Student Roundtable (TaCEQ) last Friday marks the continued disintegration of the student federation.

Guillaume Fortin, vice-general secretary of communications and internal affairs, announced his departure from the organization, which currently represents the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) and two associations from Université Laval.

Fortin cited several problems within the organization as reasons for his resignation, including the failure to organize a congress to reform TaCEQ and difficulties in translating the organization’s documents into English.

“A severe lack of communication between the student associations […] made coordination worse,” Fortin wrote in his letter of resignation. “I thought I could still work in this degrading situation but I can’t anymore. It’s putting too much stress on me.”

Fortin’s resignation comes after Université de Sherbrooke’s graduate association (REMDUS) voted to leave TaCEQ in a January referendum. TaCEQ  has two remaining executives—Secretary General Paul-Antoine Cardin and Deputy Secretary General for Administrative and Financial Affairs Xavier Laberge.

According to SSMU Vice-President External Sam Harris, the resignation will have little effect on SSMU’s representation in TaCEQ, since SSMU is already running a referendum question to leave the association.

“At this point, it looks like everyone has given up and is ready to move on,” Harris said. “[But] we’re mandated to continue with TaCEQ until our electorate says otherwise.”

The SSMU referendum question points to similar concerns to those Fortin expressed.

“SSMU members and elected representatives have raised many concerns in regards to the inaccessibility of TaCEQ documents, the cancellation of a congress for reform, and the lack of return on cost of membership dues,” the referendum question reads.

This year, SSMU contributed $17,000 to TaCEQ in membership fees.

In addition to SSMU’s referendum, Harris said Université Laval’s postgraduate student association (AELIÉS) will also discuss the possibility of leaving the association during a general assembly on Tuesday.

SSMU’s referendum to leave TaCEQ will take place March 14 to 21.

—Additional  reporting by Sam Pinto