Mr. Speaker, on March 6, we lost Marcel Pépin.
Marcel Pépin left his mark on Quebec and on his era, first as President of the CSN from 1965 to 1976, and then of the World Confederation of Labour. After studying under Father Lévesque at Laval University, he went on to contribute greatly to making the CSN, a labour federation that was as combative as it was democratic, the spearhead of the Quiet Revolution.
The “society built for man” which he sought could only come about as the result of a fight to the finish between the workers and all those with power. The union movement needed to unite andopen up a second social front in order to constitute a counter-balance to prevent workers from being crushed, dominated and deprived of their voice.
His texts and moral reviews, containing such sayings as “There is no more place for Quebec in the present system” or “Our own means are all we can count on” have marked Quebec in general, but have had far more impact on the public sector coalition, which would never have existed without him. With his great experience as a negotiator, Marcel Pépin had the knack of obtaining the best settlements, always in favour of the little people above all.
Thank you, Marcel Pépin.