Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) extends its sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of Lorraine Guay who passed away recently after a long bout with cancer. Lorraine was a lifetime social activist and feminist whose integrity was reflected in her compassion for and defense of the poor and downtrodden. She was a stalwart of the Palestinian solidarity movement in Montreal and the backbone of BDS Québec of which she was a member up until her passing.
The Société St-Jean Baptiste awarded the Hélène Pedneault Prize to Lorraine in 2020. The Hélène-Pedneault Prize was created in 2015 to honor a Quebec woman who has distinguished herself because of her contribution to the advancement of the cause of women and the affirmation of Quebec society through her commitment to the fight for improvement of the situation of women, from a perspective of social justice and respect for the environment.
Among the causes for which Lorraine actively strove were the solidarity movement with Chile (1973), the international solidarity movement with Nicaragua where she was physically present in support of the Sandinista liberation movement (1981), active participation in the international solidarity movement with El Salvador in 1983 where Lorraine spent 9 months with the Salvadoran guerrillas acting as a nurse under constant shelling and attacks from the Salvadoran army supported by the United States. From 1990 to 2000, she was involved in the struggle for the recognition of autonomy and funding for autonomous community groups. She was also a strong supporter of the inherent rights of the Indigenous peoples of Quebec and Canada. Lorraine Guay was a long-time representative of the Fédération des Femmes du Québec (FFQ) and an indefatigable militant for women’s rights.
Lorraine was an important and influential activist in Quebec for Palestinian human and political rights and was one of the founding members of the Coalition pour la Justice et la Paix en Palestine (CJPP) and also of BDS-Québec of which she was recognized as its driving force. We at PAJU have had the honour and privilege of knowing and working closely with Lorraine in the Palestinian solidarity movement. I knew Lorraine Guay for the past two decades during which we worked together on numerous pro-Palestinian events, conferences and demonstrations. She was an inspiration to me as well as all those members of PAJU who knew her. She will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
Bruce Katz on behalf of PAJU