The anti-protestation action of the police and gouv in Quebec as been so bad the last few months, it's even under UN investigation. The government of Quebec (read, the liberal party) as pretty much refused to even talk about the issues the protests are about and now they are surprised people are beyond pissed off, after over 4 months of ongoing protests. O, did I mention the summary suspension of constitutional rights using a draconian, disproportionate and completly illegal law?
Six alleged hacktivists have been arrested in Canada following a series of attacks on Quebec government websites. Neither the identity of the suspect nor information on the site they targeted or why have been released by tight-lipped Canadian authorities. Five police forces - including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the …
Wednesday 20th June 2012 18:17 GMT Anonymous Coward
Thursday 21st June 2012 04:27 GMT Anonymous Coward
@AC 18:07GMT - What you conveniently forgot to mention
is that protesters are getting financial support and counseling from various union leaders in order to do the dirty job for them.
Draconian and disproportionate you say ? How about schools going on the so called "strike" with the vote of only 40 students and preventing more than a thousand from getting into the classroom ?
Sunday 24th June 2012 23:49 GMT lapomme
For heaven's sake, boys, get a grip!
If you want to argue about the protests, why not look at the facts? However negative most rest-of-Canada reports of the issue have been, they are predicated on a quite different culture than that which prevails in French-speaking Quebec--to which I, as a bilingual Anglophone, subscribe wholeheartedly, by the way.
Readers here probably don't want all the boring details below but those interested will find some decent articles in English in The Guardian, The Economist, The Atlantic, etc. rather than in Anglo-Canadian newspapers or podcasts. Those really interested in seeing for themselves can try http://www.cutvmontreal.ca which provides live video coverage of the protests and has some clips you can replay. You can also Google YouTube for "Casseroles" and get 850 clips of neighbourhood demonstrations all over Quebec and in quite a few places outside the province.
To the "40 votes" lie above, I can only point out that if that were true, there would not have been demonstrations in Montreal (where I live) since February which have numbered between several hundred (minimum) and over 250,000 for the major protests--most of them completely peaceful, despite the mainstream media's tendency to show footage of the few violent incidents over and over again. The student federations whose members are striking represent approximately 265,000 college and university students.
In universities, the strike vote was taken by each faculty: most at English-speaking McGill and Concordia did not join the strike; most at the French-language universities did. At the colleges (called "CEGEPs" here) the vote was open to all students and the numbers who showed up determined the results. Only two of over 100 French-language colleges around the province did not vote for the strike. In a subsequent vote over whether to accept the government's "offer" and end the strike, roughly 5,000 of the 265,000 voted in favour.
The "lowest tuition in Canada" argument is true to a degree, but does not take into account that we pay the highest taxes in Canada *precisely* because we want things like free education and other public services. I would point out, too, that the fact that a sandwich is cheaper in Montreal than in Paris doesn't mean the restaurants here should all raise their prices. There are good reasons why the student strike has been supported from the beginning by their taxpaying parents and teachers--as well as the majority of boomers who worked to support ourselves through school, never got the economic free ride the yuppie Me-Generation attributes to us, and would prefer our taxes go to helping young people than to lining the pockets of Mafiosi in the construction business and venial politicians.
The draconian law mentioned above in being challenged in court as demonstrably unconstitutional. Approximately 500 members of the Quebec Bar marched en masse against it, as well as signed petitions against it, contributed to the court challenge, etc. Furthermore, the law which was meant to bully the students into quiescence had the opposite effect: it not only increased their determination but also brought out thousands of non-students who might not even support the strike but definitely objected to the curtailment of civil liberties. Somehow I doubt Anonymous Cowards know more about our constitution than the lawyers do.
Anyone who watched our National Assembly debate of Law 78 couldn't help wondering why the "urgent" legislation to let non-striking students get into their classes called for cancelling those same classes until August but contained provisions that would criminalize and heavily fine the students' associations and their spokesmen if *anyone* (including non-students over whom they have no jurisdiction) were to commit vandalism with 500 m of an educational institution's property line (which puts most of downtown Montreal off-limits.) In a nicely absurd touch, it also calls for all university and college "employees"--including profs--to report for work by 7 a.m. when classes resume or face penalties, and creates a new crime of not stopping other people from doing or saying things which might be taken as encouraging some kind of law-breaking. Some provisions will no doubt be struck down by the courts even is some clauses pass muster.
Also, I should point out the reason Quebec tuition is lower than elsewhere in Canada.wits far back as 1960, Quebec committed itself to the principle that every Quebecer with the ability and desire for higher education should be able to get it regardless of their economic circumstances. It was part of the Quiet Revolution promise to bring Quebec into 20th-century knowledge-based prosperity from the "Great Darkness" of domination by the Church and the business elite.
As readers here cannot fail to have noticed, since the 1980s powerful forces have been doing everything they can to ensure that a majority of citizens in all nations are kept in or thrust back into that darkness, to the profit of a small self-appointed "elite" which benefits from ever-cheaper, less empowered labour:. The less-educated the population, the less they are able to resist the systematic erosion of their incomes and their lives. Quebec society has been fighting back against that pressure all these years, although rarely in ways that were noticed outside the province. This is not the first attempt by the "Liberal" government to destroy the "Quebec model" of social solidarity and egalitarianism--just the last straw from a regime which wastes ten times more than free tuition would cost, not to mention is scrambling madly to avoid the consequences of its endemic corruption.
If anything, Canada's current federal government is even worse, and we're stuck with them until 2015. The Quebec government doesn't have that kind of security: at the outside, there will be a new election in 18 months...by which time the results of the Charbonneau Commission of Inquiry into Corruption and various police investigations would make a Liberal victory *extremely* unlikely. It is a common theory that the government allowed the tuition increase issue to fester for months and then tried a "show of strength" in the hope voters would mistake that for competence and forget about the corruption issues. If so, that strategy has been a big failure. They are now trying to rectify the situation with some very ill-advised TV ads showing Charest as he is: worn out and patronizing, unwilling to face facts and out of ideas except "elect me again and I'll do what I see fit." Well, we've seen how well that works.