Actively involved in education, trade unions, and politics, the author felt the need to “decipher” the meaning of the path he has taken. He wanted to lay it all out on the table. An advocate of the straight-path approach, he dared to take that path on more than one occasion, as he explains matter-of-factly.
With a working class background and studies in humanities, he enthusiastically participated in the Quiet Revolution and in the academic reforms of the 1960s, determined to give voice to teaching staff and employees of the public sector. Lambasted by the Liberal and PQ governments, the CEQ, which he chaired on two occasions, contributed to unifying and strengthening the Quebec labour movement. Committed to social movement unionism, and independent of any political party, the author candidly resumes the background details of the four rounds of negotiations in which he participated. Feeling that he had given his utmost best to his organization, he elects to explore new horizons: environment, consultation, public administration. Building on this new knowledge and experience, he responds to the invitation extended by the Quebec Liberal Party, and joins the federalist party during the 1995 referendum. In principle, federalism seems to him to offer more favourable conditions for realizing the full potential of Quebec’s vital forces, provided that it demonstrates flexibility and renewal. It is with the goal of contributing to this evolution that he decides to move to federal politics, where he has the opportunity to expand his knowledge of the environment, health, immigration, and international relations.
Drawing from extensive documentation, Yvon Charbonneau reconstructs, through his own journey, broad, often unique swaths of our history.