QUEBEC — Thousands of protesters whom organizers described as members of Quebec’s "silent majority" demonstrated peacefully Sunday in front of the provincial legislature against tax hikes in the recent provincial budget.
They marched to the national assembly, brandishing brooms, mops and picket signs. Participants called for the government to clean up its own spending before imposing new taxes.
The budget proposes the gradual introduction, over two years, of a 15-per-cent sales tax, after harmonization of the Quebec sales tax with the federal .
The first of a series of one-cent-a-litre increases in the fuel tax is already in effect.
The government has also proposed a flat charge for plus a $25 user fee for doctor’s visits, higher electricity and other charges.
Participants left behind shirts, to make the point that Premier Jean Charest wants the shirts off taxpayers’ backs.