Press release: Guild wins first round in Court against American trusteeship – “We will never let them do that!” – Luc Fortin, President

« We will never let them do that! » - Luc Fortin, President

Montreal, September 19, 2014 – In response to the attempt of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) to place the GMMQ in trusteeship and force upon the Guild as trustee the former Guild President, Emile Subirana, deposed during the controversial events of 2003, the Guild’s executive is resolved to do everything possible to avoid trusteeship. The Guild won the first round yesterday when Judge Stephen W. Hamilton of the Québec Superior Court refused to grant a provisional injunction requested by the AFM that would permit them to enter the offices of the GMMQ and put the trusteeship into effect. In the morning, Emile Subirana and Allan Willaert, the AFM’s Canadian vice-president, came with a bailiff and tried to enter the Guild’s premises but were refused admittance by Guild president Luc Fortin. 

“The musicians of Québec have legitimately elected their representatives. We will never allow New York to impose a puppet representative. In choosing Emile Subirana as their lackey, the Americans are adding insult to injury. We will fight this undemocratic show of force legally, democratically and politically and mobilize our members accordingly. We are calling upon the solidarity and support of all musicians in Québec and our elected officials, including the Minister of Culture and Communications of Québec, Hélène David, and Québec Labour Minister Sam Hamad, as well as all unions and the entire cultural community. If the AFM tries it again, we will never allow them to do so!” declared Luc Fortin, guitarist and president of the GMMQ, who was accompanied by some of the elected Board of Directors at a press conference.

On this occasion Luc Fortin read aloud a message of support received last evening from Sophie Prégent, president of the Union des Artistes. “I was sick to my stomach to learn of this gross American attempt to muzzle our Québec musician colleagues and place the Guild in trusteeship. I want to assure them that they have the full support of the Union des Artistes and salute their important struggle for autonomy”. 

This attempt at trusteeship is in response to the referendum held in June during which a majority of Québec musicians voted in favour of disaffiliation from the AFM and to the request for a declaratory judgment filed last week in Québec Superior Court to clarify the steps required for the Guild to disaffiliate from the AFM. “The purpose of this process is to have the Court establish the rules for carrying out in a responsible, orderly and non-conflictual manner the wishes expressed by our members. On our part, we are going to respect the legal process and we think the AFM should do the same rather than act like cowboys” said Luc Fortin. Until a decision is handed down by the Superior Court, the Guild has agreed to maintain its conditions of affiliation with the AFM.