Updates from April, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:59 on 2012/04/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Feels like I’m writing an entry for the 1902 weblog: a horse spooked on Notre-Dame on Saturday afternoon and took a caleche customer on a wild ride. Someone should follow this up and let us know if the horse is OK.

    Going further back in time, the Patrimoine, histoire et multimédia blog has notes on the visit of le seul véritable, l’original et superlativement incroyable Oscar to Montreal in 1882.

    He liked Mount Royal!

     
    • C_Erb 22:00 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Apparently he called it a hill even though every Montrealer knows it is a mountain.

    • Kate 23:23 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Definitely a mountain.

  • Kate 10:14 on 2012/04/29 Permalink | Reply  

    To be honest, folks, I’d rather be writing about another topic, but Drew Nelles on Maisonneuve has a thoughtful piece on the student strikes that’s worth reading.

    Students demonstrated again Saturday night. I was out and saw more police than students: a “special” bus filled with extra cops on Sherbrooke near the Main, every metro train with a detachment of police in green visibility vests.

    Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is learning about practical politics the hard way: reports say CLASSE is no longer so pleased with him and may be about to replace him with someone else – but I’m not sure the media will necessarily be getting the straight story out of this very diverse group.

     
    • mdblog 11:03 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      “The Charest government’s cynical refusal to negotiate with CLASSE…”

      Wasn’t it Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois who said that he had a mandate to demand and not to negotiate?

    • Antonio 11:18 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      The New York Times Sunday Review has an all too relevant piece on The Imperiled Promise of College.

    • Hamza 16:19 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      sorry but when commenters can start linking their text to other stories , it starts getting just a littttlllleeee confusing. no offense intended.

    • Kate 16:40 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Yes, I’ll be honest, I have some theoretical ideas about what education is for and universities are for, but Antonio, I’m not too interested in having a full-blown debate about that on this blog. It’s not a Montreal issue, or even a Quebec issue, particularly.

    • Raoul 07:37 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      You could say its a local issue. We have many of the same programs as every other university on the planet, though it could be argued some of those programs are training people for careers that dont exist *here*.

    • qatzelok 09:14 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      Once again, two posters have reduced university to a Trade School, and have quoted a mediocre New York Times article, rather than looking at the bigger picture of civilization. Lots of well-trained engineers are currently destroying the planet for Monsanto and Exxon. That’s now what university is for. And you can criticize Philosophy and Sociology all you want… Once the engineers and MBAs have destroyed your planet, you’ll be needing lots of priests and social workers.

    • Alex L 18:37 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      You got it right Kate. I can confirm the medias didn’t understand what was happening with the spokespeople at the CLASSE. Someone presented its candidature to be the third spokesperson; after debates that person’s candidature was rejected mainly over fears of losing the woman-man parity (Jeanne Reynolds and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois) that is in place right now.

      @mdblog: GND and JR do have mandates to negociate, but not over tuition fees.

    • Antonio 15:58 on 2012/05/01 Permalink

      The Globe and Mail has published an opinion by Margaret Wente in which she declares that Quebec’s University Students are in for a Shock.

    • Kate 16:56 on 2012/05/01 Permalink

      Yeah, Wente, who’s a writer, mocks the kids doing arts degrees. Entirely typical of the boomer “I’ve got mine” attitude.

  • Kate 14:39 on 2012/04/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Item in the Guardian UK about our student protests – the same photo made the front page of Le Monde but not in any form I can link here. The BBC also noted the more extreme side of this week’s protests.

     
  • Kate 12:28 on 2012/04/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Nice interview with Tommy Kulczyk of Sun Youth – video and text.

     
  • Kate 11:32 on 2012/04/28 Permalink | Reply  

    I wonder why the English Premier League game between Newcastle and Wigan is trending so hard in Montreal just now.

     
    • Bert 14:04 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Hooliganism?

    • erydan 16:16 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      It’s a good excuse to go to the pub on a Saturday morning?

    • Kate 10:57 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Hmm, Wigan demolished Newcastle, too.

      According to English football traditions I’m meant to support Wigan, but I have a hard time actually caring about it.

  • Kate 10:25 on 2012/04/28 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m over on OpenFile this morning with news bulletins and some more thoughtful stuff. Back soon!

     
  • Kate 22:28 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A demo is taking place downtown against Friday’s offer from the Charest government. Although initially described as peaceful, it later heated up a bit and was declared illegal.

     
    • Antonio 06:26 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      André Pratte, editor-in-chief of La Presse and one of Quebec’s most lucid and intelligent commentators, writes about the dangers of normalizing violence and exploiting it.

    • Raoul 06:30 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      I think all public property dammage should be tacked on to the tuition increase. Thatll teach them not to damage public property while they’re still not contributing for it’s upkeep. We all pay for that.

    • Antonio 06:53 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Raoul: that’s wishful thinking. I think that the bozos who get arrested get a fine of $400 or so, but that’s a drop in the bucket.

    • Hamza 08:45 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      to beat a dead horse (so to speak) , only very confused people use the term violence when inanimate objects are damaged.

    • Marc 09:22 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ Hamza: So vandalizing property that doesn’t belong to you, irrespective of what it is, you’re cool with that?

    • ant6n 09:25 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Marc
      that’s a bit binary don’t you think? Either you’re ‘cool’ with property damage; or you have to denounce the ‘violence’, blame the students, and ask for more tuition hikes.

    • Anto 09:36 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Antonio: André Pratte’s “editorials” are most often a rehash of PLQ press releases.

    • Steph 10:10 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Most of the people are being arrested for not dispersing/attending an illegal march, not for criminal activity & vandalism. Lets not get get washed up by the PR campaign against the students and the quota of arrests the SPVM is making. It’s like the photos in Le Journal that show bandana covered faces in a cloud of billowing smoke; that smoke is not burning vandalism but tear gas, the bandanas are not to hide their identity but to help you breath in that tear gas.
      What’s the point of a protest march if your opponents simply have to decry it ‘illegal’ and everyone packs up and goes home? Pilots go on strike – illegal. Canada Post employees go on strike – illegal. Nurses go on strike – illegal. Even Montreal cops have gone on illegal strikes.

    • Antonio 10:37 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Hamza, this might help you (though I’m not optimistic):

      World English Dictionary
      violence  (ˈvaɪələns)
       
      — n
      1. the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc
      2. powerful, untamed, or devastating force: the violence of the sea
      3. great strength of feeling, as in language, etc; fervour
      4. an unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp such as tends to overawe or intimidate
      5. do violence to
        a. to inflict harm upon; damage or violate: they did violence to the prisoners
        b. to distort or twist the sense or intention of: the reporters did violence to my speech
       
      [C13: via Old French from Latin violentia  impetuosity, from violentus violent ]

      Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/violence?s=t

    • Hamza 10:39 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      No , it’s not binary, it’s making the point that there are a lot of very sick or very confused people who seem to have no problem with students and supporters being physically injured in the midst of legitimate protest, but can’t resist shouting if a bank’s [insured] windows get broken or the Apple store has paint thrown on it .

    • qatzelok 11:30 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ Raoul “I think all public property dammage should be tacked on to the tuition increase.”
      If environmental damage is tacked onto the price of gasoline and cars, they will practically disappear from our roads. Until this happens, talking about “making vandals pay” is just empty polemic.

    • mdblog 12:02 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @qatzelok What the fuck are you on about? Are the demonstrations about tuition increases or are they about every last god damn thing that is wrong with the world? Yes, environmental destruction is bad. Yes, capitalism is a far from a perfectly fair system. Yes, in a perfect world we could all get top-notch educations for free.

      How about the students put their energies toward constructively solving some of these problems instead of marching in the street whining about how unfair life is?

    • ant6n 12:10 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @mdblog
      What the fuck are you talking about?
      qatzelok (in his/her spirited words) was merely saying that asking students as a whole pay for the damage caused by some protestors is unreasonable, invoking a comparison that attempting to show that all sorts of public costs are not internalized to the groups that cause them. How do you go from that to claiming that the students protest against environmental damage?!

    • Antonio 15:24 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Though I don’t agree with qatzelok’s analogy, I think he’s right that society subsidizes the automobile way too much, and the subsidy includes but isn’t limited to all the environmental damage caused by cars, which we don’t factor into the cost though we should. We need to wean people off of cars and into public transit.

      Well, here’s an (admittedly imperfect) analogy…we’ve got too many BA’s and not enough skilled workers making decent money to keep funding our social programs with their taxes; let’s stop subsidizing an arts degree for every Jane, Jill, and Barbara, and selectively subsidize courses of study whose graduates the economy actually needs and will pay for. This way, fewer cars on the road and fewer self-righteous arts grads with no marketable skills and poor job prospects. Better environment and economy and less pollution all around.

    • Raoul 06:11 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Im with antonio on his last comments. Not only that, youll get better service at your local coffeehouse/gasstation/restaurant. I stopped counting the number of retarded managers i had to put with that had no business skill except, you guessed it, an arts degree. (not that i mind the EI, but still…)

    • mdblog 08:10 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      @qatzelok I missed your point entirely. Just frustrated that these students are wasting their collective energy asking for a handout. If only they would protest FOR solutions instead of empty whining about problems. My sincere apologies.

    • Kate 14:14 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Raoul, please don’t throw around the word “retarded” like that – it’s not acceptable here.

    • Raoul 07:40 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      Kate, with all the expletives ive read in other comments, you wanna give me shit for a word like “retarded”? you know im not talking about the special olympics. but wtv, the thought police has spoken.

    • Josh 12:36 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      Oh for crying out loud, Raoul. I’ve butt heads with Kate a bunch of times, but it *is* her blog and she’s clearly welcome to set the rules she likes. It’s not thought police for someone to dictate the terms of use for their own blog.

      If you don’t like it, no one’s stopping you from making your own blog.

    • Alex L 18:42 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      @mdblog: students have been protesting for solutions for months now, and not only over tuition fees. I guess it all depends on where you get your information.

    • Kate 22:38 on 2012/04/30 Permalink

      Is using “retarded” offensive? (Metafilter says yes).

  • Kate 19:54 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Guardian UK has a detailed interview with Grimes plus a segue into notes on other current acts from this city. (Music player feature doesn’t work here, though.)

     
  • Kate 17:33 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A taxi-sharing system working via smartphones will be launched in June.

     
    • Stefan 19:18 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      I think this has an enormous potential. Collective Transport, on demand. Would this work also with mini-buses? They could be pretty well filled, instead of waiting for regular (or even not so regular) half-empty/overfull buses.
      Note that in ‘developing’ countries such shared transport works already pretty well, and without any electronic devices …
      Access also does not have to be only via smartphone, but could be by telephone, internet, or sign on for a regular work-week. Sharing the vehicle should make it much cheaper than a regular taxi fare, and also cheaper than owning a car, e.g. to drive alone in a car in from the suburbs to downtown.

    • cheese 20:56 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Similar to a developing country, I was in Kiev in a few years ago and there were a number of private mini buses in operation. Presumably because the gov’t provided transport was not sufficient. The buses I used would wait outside a metro station until enough people had boarded, then go do its route. I think you had to tell the driver when it was your stop, but I’m sure they would remember regulars. Worked ok and was surprisingly cheap but then it was Kiev not Montreal.

  • Kate 17:12 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Josh Freed has his say during Quel Avenir’s week on anglo/franco issues, basically “Why can’t we all just get along?”

    Thursday’s commenter was Simon Brault, president of Culture Montreal. He makes an interesting point that the English language seeping into Montreal and poisoning its cultural life is not the fault of the resident anglophone population, but the triumph of globalized culture.

     
    • Stephane Daury (@stephdau) 17:41 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      I really liked that post. And I thoroughly agree.

    • qatzelok 11:32 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Anglo media is always claims “it is God’s will” when it comes to obliterating any real culture or community. It’s never money’s fault – always God’s (or the Internet).

    • Robert S 07:58 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      “… seeping into Montreal and poisoning its cultural life”?

      More like just being part of said cultural life, no?

    • Robert H 11:31 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      Bravo, Simon Brault. Votre analyse précise la vraie menace à la survivance de la langue et la culture française d’ici. L’anxiété perpétuel à ce sujet a abouti dans une atmosphère de déformation: l’influence des anglophones est surestimé pendent que celle de la vague de mondialisation (dont la force vient surtout de l’économie puissant et des medias divers des États-Unis) est sous-estimé.
      M. Brault confirme ce que j’en suis témoin partout. Tellement des anecdotes viennent à l’esprit. J’en raconte une par example: un après-midi l’année dernière j’étais dans un café à l’Avenue du Mont-Royal. J’ai entendu la conversation fort d’une bande des jeunes s’assis autour de la table juste à côté. Un d’entre eux a mentionné une chanson il aimait incitant ses compagnons de vanter les mérites de l’acte qui la fait–Coldplay (Génial! Ça c’est way cool!). D’une manière ou d’une autre le sujet changait au cinéma et tout le monde était d’accord que Batman-The Dark Knight était le plus trippant. Hélas, c’est un phénomène plus rare quand les anglophones s’enthousiasment d’un œuvre culturel francophone.
      Il me semble que parmi nous qui participons à les discussions ici, nous acceptons généralement que la plupart des anglophones restant au Québec ont fait tous ce qu’ils peuvent pour s’adapter à la majorité francophone et on même soutient que ça continue. C’est donc frustrant pour les anglophones qui se trouvent l’objet des accusations mal fondé leur blâmant pour l’érosion du français à Montréal. Ceux qui le disent devraient plutôt se tourner vers les francophones eux-mêmes: personne ne les force d’employer les termes anglais qu’ils préfèrent même quand il y a des équivalents en français, d’aller aux films d’Hollywood, d’écouter les «top forty», de s’interesser à les célébrités et les emissions de la télévision Américaine. C’est les francophones qui ont CHOISI ces «vecteurs d’uniformisation», la «capitulation tranquille» dont M. Brault écrit. Les francophones donc deviennent les agents involontaires de l’anglicisation qu’ils pretendent détester.
      C’est un vrai défi pour le Québec. Je ne veux trop simplifier la pression indéniable provoqué par les «impératifs économiques» et on ne peut pas éviter la «culture commercial mondialisée». Je comprends que les Québécois ne veulent pas s’isoler du monde et je ne le recommanderais, surtout à Montréal. Les grandes villes du monde sont le point de contact entre les cultures. La pureté culturel nuire à la vitalité d’une métropole. La ligne entre une attitude ouvert au monde, et une volonté de sauvegarder ce qu’est spécial ou au cœur de votre identité pourrait être difficile de négocier: de ce côté-ci on risque assimilation, de ce côté-là, la xénophobie. Une étape vers la resolution proposée par M. Brault:

      « Pendant qu’on réclame volonté et ressources pour assurer le respect et la mise à jour des lois linguistiques nationales, nous devrions nous intéresser, à l’échelle métropolitaine, à cette arme de construction massive dont se servent de plus en plus les générations montantes : la création artistique et l’affirmation culturelle.»

      Ça fait bon sens. Je dois ajoute que même si, pour soutenir la cause d’un Québec français, tous les anglophones du Québec devenaient parfaitment bilingue, ça ne ferait rien si les francophones cessent de s’en soucier.

  • Kate 17:06 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    The RCMP had been holding out on the Charbonneau commission, trying not to hand over certain documents, but a superior court ruled Friday that Quebec can indeed subpoena a federal entity under these circumstances.

     
    • Raoul 06:09 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      with retired cops selling out informants, and our own crooked government with its impotent inquiries, can you blame them for not trusting us?

    • Kate 14:20 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      It’s more that I wonder what the RCMP has to hide in this case. They should be gung-ho for helping clean up corruption, instead of which they tried to block access to a whole pile of information. Sure, it might just be a pissy little jurisdictional fight, but there could be more to it than that.

  • Kate 17:04 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Students are not enthusiastic about Jean Charest’s new offer (notice now that there’s an offer, it’s Charest, not Beauchamp?). They’re taking it to their memberships this weekend.

     
  • Kate 11:03 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec is making an offer to the students but still not actively talking to them.

     
    • ant6n 13:18 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      If you assume 2% annual inflation (it has been lower than that), a 75% increase should happen over 28 years.

    • Josh 13:53 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      What about if you start counting from the last time tuition increased, ant6n?

    • marco 13:56 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Let’s hear what the student unions come up with as a compromise.
      They need to make concessions but considering that this has turned into a battle of ideologies, that’s going to be very hard to do.

    • ant6n 14:20 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      The tuition has been increasing since 2007, above the rate of inflation.
      Between 1994 and 2007, the tuition was frozen, but at the beginning of the freeze there was a hike of 30%. According to the bank of canada inflation calculator, the inflation between 1994 and 2007 was 30.09%. So effectively since 1994, the tuition has actually been going up compared to inflation.

      This of course ignores the hidden increases that come via administrative fees. I remember a long time ago, during tuition freeze there was an article talking about how Universities used fees as a way to get more money from students. They are now a significant portion of the fees that students pay. For example, in 2005/2006, while the tuition was still frozen for Quebec students, I paid 1200$ for fees at McGill (i.e. excluding tuition, and medical care).

      This also ignores the costs for books which seem to have gotten quite out of hand as well.

    • Antonio 14:42 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      In other related news, a Facebook page has sprung up calling on CLASSE “leader” and media-attention seeking extraordinaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois to resign with 3,225 “Likes” at the time of this writing and someone posting a photo suggesting “some men just want to watch the world burn.”

    • jeather 15:14 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      There is very little control that the universities have over the cost of books, to be fair; most professors are conscious of these costs and try to keep them down. The fees are a problem, but the reality is that the schools need more money, and the government refuses to give it to them. (I don’t support the increased fees or the planned increase in tuition.)

    • Hamza 15:33 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      I visited the UK this past spring with the intent on moving there but I realised, more than ever, that I am a Quebecois who belongs in Quebec. Vive la Québec, vive la langue française, vive la justice sociale.

    • Hamza 15:34 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Oh and uh

      “Charest and Beauchamp stressed that, after tax credits, the increase would amount to about 50 cents a day for most students if the hike was spread out further.”

      Yeah. Now we’re getting into World Vision TV arguments . “Less than the cost of a cup of coffee!!” The emperor has no clothes and a bad haircut.

    • Kevin 16:00 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @ant6n Don’t forget all the fee hikes that student societies impose on students themselves, all duly voted into place by a few hundred to few thousand people.

    • ant6n 16:14 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Kevin, jeather
      Fair enough. But the point is that the costs of education as whole for students are going up, even when the media portrays it otherwise.
      The freeze has been over for many years, and even then costs went up on average.

    • Josh 18:11 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @ant6n: If the students are under the impression that their expenses (for anything – food, shelter, electricity, education) are generally going to stay static from year to year, then I think that’s their issue.

    • ant6n 21:20 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Josh
      TO the man in the last row — we’re talking all in inflation adjusted numbers. Jeesh.

    • Josh 15:41 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      @ant6n: Sorry, I’m not in Quebec. But when I was, my tuition stayed static from year to year. It was a complete freeze. Since when has that not been the case?

    • ant6n 16:15 on 2012/04/29 Permalink

      As I wrote, the tuition was frozen between 1994 and 2007. However, at the beginning of the freeze, the tuition was increased by 30%, which roughly corresponds to the cumulative inflation between 1994 and 2007.

  • Kate 09:00 on 2012/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Thursday night’s student demo remained peaceful as Mayor Tremblay pleaded for a resolution to the standoff and the media have found both restaurateurs and hoteliers to echo the same sentiment. Even some of the students have suggested bringing in a mediator but Quebec shot the idea down.

    Rima Elkouri deplores the ongoing damage and notes it’s only good luck nobody has been badly hurt or killed yet. Even the Gazette allows itself some critical thought about how allowing this situation to drag on may be part of Jean Charest’s long-term plans for re-election.

    The CBC asks what gives Quebec students different expectations from those in the rest of Canada.

     
    • Hamza 09:44 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Uh about that ‘sober’ CBC article, they missed the whole point about how Quebec’s public and corporate worlds are wholly corrupt, have been bleeding billions of dollars from already stressed taxpayers, and how it is *immoral* (yes morality falls into this issue) to ask one of the poorest slices of our population to cough up 75% more (plus interest) for one of the only pathways to class mobility left to the average Quebecer.

    • qatzelok 10:15 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      “one of the only pathways to class mobility left to the average Quebecer.”

      Not only class mobility, but just as importantly, social awareness. Social awareness (understanding the power abuses inherent in a class-based system) is what is most needed from our universities. Everyone who attends walks away with a bit more of this than they had before they went.

    • Kate 10:22 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Is it not conceivable that holding back class mobility and reducing social awareness wouldn’t displease politicians one tiny bit?

      Quebec is such an interesting case. Until the 1960s the Catholic Church kept a lid on the place, then linguistic nationalism took over some of people’s willingness to hold back their personal ambitions and reduce their involvement in the wider world on the promise of a better life (once it was after death, then it was in an independent Quebec). Now we’re all on the internet and while nationalism is still alive its flame is not the big passionate bonfire it once was. How are you going to hold them down now?

      Tax them hard, beat them with sticks, make it more difficult to cast off the “brand on the tongue” of growing up speaking bad joual, cut back on Radio-Canada so there’s less motivation to listen to people speaking standard French, push them back into the woods and the wilderness and make them hew wood, draw water and dig in the ground for your corporate masters. What do you think?

    • mdblog 10:32 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Kate, fantastic point. I have similar suspicions but you’ve expressed them much more clearly than I ever could.

      For my part, what would be nice is if the students would articulate “why” they need tuitions kept down. If there is a reasonable argument to be made for this, I think that the public (who is being asked to pay for this) should be made aware of it.

      If all the students are saying is “we can’t afford the increase” then it opens to door to taxpayers/voters making the same argument (i.e. we can’t afford NOT to raise tuitions), doesn’t it?

    • Tux 10:38 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      And I was having such a nice Friday too… the idea that politicians would purposely raise the bar on access to education… it boggles the mind. How about… we accept the tuition hike but require that all course materials created thereafter be published freely online so that people can study-along-at-home at no cost to them, followed by taking an exam to earn their diplomas..? It cuts costs and opens up higher education to more people…

    • Susana Machado 12:15 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      Ok, I’ll bite… *puts on Concordia student hat*
      First, I’d like to say that I am kind of in a hurry here but my argument might not be as thought through as I’d like.
      Second, “The Students” is something that does not exist. We are not a monolithic group and some of us are busy with classes and exams to make our voices really heard.
      Third, It is not because I am not on strike and have decided not to take part in the protests that I am in, any shape or form, for the hikes. There has been in the media an automatic association that protestors are against the hikes and those that staid in classe are for them. Makes me want to yell at someone when I hear that.
      Now, why am I against the hikes? I can only speak for myself so here it goes: Stop wasting my money! Personally, I could afford the hike. I know that not everybody could, but, selfishly, I can. Does not mean I want *them* to keep wasting my money. I don’t want them to have three quarters of a million dollars in a golden parachute, I don’t want them to drop hundreds on millions of dollars downt he drain that is Îlot Voyageur, I don’t want the Dean of McGill to spend nearly 10K in a first class ticket to Brasil ( really? Business was no enough? You needed first? WHy not pay the different from your own pocket! ). I don’t want the UQAM/TR/S to spend 200 million dollars per year in publicity and them have all of them tell ME that there is not enough money to teach. Put your house in order, stop wasting money left and right and paying people more than they are worth (I am talking administrators here, I don’t think teachers are overpaid), stop WASTING. If the education system was in order and there wasn’t millions of dollars going down the drain every year, I would gladly pay my share of the tuition hikes. Even pay more than my share. Pay whatever I can afford to get an education if it meant people who could afford less could also get their education. But as it is? No way! These hikes just mean that there will be more wasted money, more people getting nice financial cushions, more stupid projects that aren’t properly studied nor executed. There will be ZERO increase in the quality of the education I will be getting because this hike is not to benefit me, it is to benefit the corrupted administrations that are endemic at every level in the Education department.
      So there, this is my selfish opinion. Then you can add that it is not fair and that the poorest students won’t be able to afford it and that it will prevent social mobility, etc, etc. These arguments are not wrong, per se, but they are not my main argument. That is why the whole “They can afford it, they just need not to buy the latest iPad or buy 6$ coffees” argument makes me want to smack people… it is not because I can afford it that I want to waste my money. I could probably afford to cut a 20$ in pieces every week and wash it down the drain. Does not mean I want to!
      I hope I did not come across as too belligerent, I try to be respectful of other people’s opinions and if you felt I was yelling at any of you, my mistake, it was not the case.
      And now… to prepare for my summer semester that starts Monday…
      *gets off the soap box*

    • Matt 13:33 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Susana: Wow. Thanks. I think that puts how I feel into words.

    • Kevin 16:08 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      How is it raising the bar on education if the government increases bursaries and scholarships for poor students?

    • Antonio 21:03 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      A law student from Université Laval writes in The Globe and Mail that Numbers aren’t with students – and Quebec shouldn’t be either.

    • ant6n 22:00 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      What numbers. He says only 35% of the students are on strike, and then says that only 20% of students actually support the strikes as a whole – basically assuming that all faculties that are not on strike unanimously voted against them, but all faculties that are on strike only got barely more than half support for them.

      Then he makes big words about economics and debt and whatnot, ignoring that the tuition hikes are nearly negligible from a budget point of view; conveniently he has no numbers. One number – reducing hike down to weekly numbers: great! Did you know that if you make a million a year, you make less than 2$ per Minute. That’s only like an expensive phone call!

      The rest is just the typical anti arts rants that’s basically unrelated to the tuition issue itself. Ending with cheers for the government.

      Man, you sould get an arts degree, maybe then you’ll be able to analyze this rant a bit more critically. Or you should get a real degree, like a math degree, which would give you the ability to analyze the lacking numbers a bit better.

    • Kevin 23:05 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @ant6n
      I’ve argued part of that before: the goal isn’t to bankrupt (would be) students; it’s to get students who are going to be earning a hell of a lot more money after graduation to pay a more equitable share of the costs upfront, and to divert more people into higher paying fields.

      If society is picking up 80-90% of the tab, why shouldn’t it have a say in what people study?

    • Antonio 06:37 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Kevin: Thank you for being another voice of reason.

      @ant6n: I think “Sandy” is a girl’s name and therefore the pronoun you ought to be using is “she,” not “he.”

    • Antonio 06:45 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ant6n: I have an arts degree, and two others. I see your arts degree, if you have one, hasn’t allowed you to move beyond the sexist presumption that an author is male when she is actually female. You only needed to look at the author’s name, but your arts degree hasn’t taught you to look that closely. Speaks volumes about the rigour with which you approach things in general. I’d say none. Pseudo-leftist platitudes and truisms do not equal intellectual rigour, hate to break it to you. I wish you had more to show for your degree, assuming you have one, because I did help pay for it to the tune of 89% or so.

    • ant6n 08:41 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Well, Sandy is a girl’s or a boy’s name; and by reading the text and not the name of the author I’m naturally sexist; which naturally means that my analysis of the article is completely invalid. Talk about strawman argument.

      Please point out the “Pseudo-leftist platitudes” and “truisms” in my writing. I try to argue in numbers, and dislike irrelevant arguments; you just elevate any rant against students to “reason” and in this case pretend they have the numbers to show for it, when they actually don’t.

    • ant6n 08:44 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Kevin
      Paying tuition via taxation is the most progressive way to finance education. It exactly does what you say – have people who earn a hell of a lot more money pay a much larger contribution of their education through taxes. As opposed to user fees for everyone, which are largely regressive.

    • Antonio 10:48 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ant6n: I don’t actually think you’re sexist; I do think you lack rigour. That was my point. Feigning indignation at your “sexism” was rhetorical flourish to demonstrate that you didn’t even bother to closely read and address the item in question and that your “dismissal” of it is a joke.

    • ant6n 11:12 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Right. So rather than addressing whatever point I was trying to make, you just used a strawman as a rethorical device.

    • Antonio 15:40 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ant6n: no, sir, I was simply calling you on the straw man because it was by way of the straw man fallacy that you “refuted” Sandy’s commentary without ever actually addressing it. Making reference to the “sexist presumption” that the author is male is not straw man. It’s an ad hominem, perhaps (which isn’t always a fallacy), but not a straw man.

    • Antonio 18:23 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      Another interesting item on tuition and our sense of entitlement; this time the perspective is that of a foreign student writing in the McGill Daily.

  • Kate 19:24 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Representatives of teachers’ groups at various levels are asking for Quebec to declare a moratorium on tuition hikes and resume negotiations with students. Note all three men in that photo wearing the red square.

    Opinion writers at La Presse are asking pointed questions: Michèle Ouimet asks why the government is setting things up to fail, Vincent Marissal asks why Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is being turned into the villain.

    A woman who works at UdeM wrote a letter to the Gazette about her outrage about the criminalization of the right to protest. Another woman, who writes for Voir, echoes something I’ve heard all day off Twitter and elsewhere: the demo was peaceful until police charged and attacked.

    Another protest is planned for tonight.

     
    • Ephraim 19:50 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Who’s paying for the broken windows at HSBC, Chapters, TD, Scotia? The damage to cars? Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is being turned into the villain because he’s acting like a juvenile and not taking responsibility for the actions and consequences. Take control of your website. Take control of your members. Take pictures of those that are resorting to violence. Help the police ensure that the protests are 100% peaceful. And if you can’t ensure that they will be, move the protests to where damage to personal property is at a minimum.

    • Raoul 20:00 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      if i read correctly classe’s website is an open platform – like wikipedia, reddit, slashdot, etc. if you “take control” of a website, its not really an open platform anymore, is it?

    • Joey 20:02 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Lost in all this – the province’s offer during the short-circuited negotiations, as leaked to La Presse: an expansion of grants (not loans) to more middle-class students, at a cost of $30-40 million. This is a substantial offer and would just about cover any small accessibility issues caused by the tuition hikes not already covered by the expansion of the bursary program already announced. The province would pay for this by reducing the ineffective and inefficient tuition tax credits.

      As a student of student aid and issues of access for most of the last decade, I’m pleased to see the province continue to move in this direction. It seems like a decent and fair policy choice, and enough of a compromise to the alleged concerns of the more moderate student groups (the FEUQ and the FECQ). Sadly, nobody’s talking about it. Not even this blog, which has had some interesting policy discussions on the subject (though not recently, for obvious reasons).

    • Kate 20:04 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is 21 years old. He is not “in control” of everyone in CLASSE, and it isn’t clear that the casseurs are even necessarily students in any of the official groups.

    • marco 20:04 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      When negotiating something as important as say, the future of Quebec. You can take control of your own web site. If not then you’re a joke, not a student organization.

    • Joey 20:05 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      So the protest, which just started, has been declared illegal, since individuals were throwing projectiles at police. That was fast.

    • ant6n 20:06 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      I don’t understand people who think that a loose movement of students should control itself better than the strict hierarchy of government and police – and even more so, that the giant number of students should control itself despite the violence and intimidation coming from police.

      @Joey
      Great, they’ll take the tuition credits. I paid 60K in tuition for my education (as an international student), I’d really like to get some back via tax credits to help pay off the debts.

    • Joey 20:08 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Some additional links: http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201204/25/01-4518667-le-quebec-un-laboratoire-pour-un-chercheur-ontarien.php a profile of Ross Finnie, the academic who has probably spent more time studying post-secondary educational pathways and the factors that influence them than anyone else in Canada. This graph, in particular, tells you everything you need to know about who stands to benefit the most from a tuition subsidy: http://www.cyberpresse.ca/html/1392/graphriches.jpg It also explains why progressives might prefer a model whereby wealthy students pay more in tuition and poorer students get a lot of it back in the form of grants.

      @ant6n: I imagine tuition support for international students will never, ever, ever be a priority for any Canadian government.

    • Antonio 20:54 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      In what is a refreshingly different perspective from the items posted by Kate, Henry Aubin admonishes the PQ hacks at CSDM for irresponsibly encouraging high school children to boycott classes for three days.

    • ant6n 21:23 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Whatever. Makes up for missing snow days. That piece is refreshingly one sided ‘the other’ way.

    • JaneyB 21:38 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      I’m really troubled by the government’s infantilizing rhetoric. The request that student leaders ‘control their group’ has strong echoes of ‘first, clean up your room…’. The whole tone strikes me as disrespectful and dismissive. Can one imagine using this style of communication toward women protesting or doctors on strike? Suggestions that students are irresponsible, irrational or that neoliberal economics is as uncontestable as the law of gravity remind me just how hegemonic that discourse has become over the past 30 years – even more remarkable given its recent stunning failures. It’s as if a whole segment of society has become so afraid to imagine other ways that they are on some kind of patrol against dissenters. Hats off to the students for holding on to their protests; they are wiser than they know.

    • walkerp 23:16 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Ironic (and sad) that the young are addressing long-term goals while the old fight for short-term consumption. But I guess it makes sense since they’ll be dead when it comes time to pay the piper for their greed and corruption.

    • Steph 23:22 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      CTV just shared a stat that from last nights (wednesday 25th) protest > “last night 85 people arrested, but only 15 for criminal activities, now of those 15 only about five or six of them were actually students”

    • ant6n 00:19 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Joey
      The tuition credits provide an incentive for highly qualified international students to stay in Canada, rather than continue and moving to the US after their studies.

    • Hamza 04:28 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      For anybody who didn’t get the memo , Quebec is a socialist province.

    • Kevin 07:13 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      The problem with CLASSE is that it doesn’t have a leader. I’ve had to correct a few of my colleagues who say that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the organization’s president – he’s not. He’s a spokesman, a figurehead.

      And that’s the problem. How is the government (or anyone, really) supposed to negotiate with a ‘group’ of 170,000 people that want to operate strictly in terms of direct democracy?

      That works fine for a family, but anything larger that operates that way is a mob*.

      *In the political sense, not the angry, rioting sense.

    • Raoul 07:22 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Kevin anarchy is hardly a new concept. its entirely based on decentralized decision-making. (ie let the locals decide what happens in their own locale).

      As much as i disagree with the students, its become eminently clear the gov’t is intentionally putting oil on the fire so they can call an election on this issue, and on the backs of students. It does create an interesting question though, if the libs go to election on the tuition increase issue, who will the anglos vote for?

    • Adam 08:27 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      “Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is 21 years old.”

      So when it comes to arguing his case, we’re supposed to take him seriously, but when it comes to taking responsibility, the poor dear is just a lost little boy who needs to be coddled and held?

      Unbelievable. Either he’s an adult, or he isn’t. And if he isn’t, someone get him off the news and into a daycare.

    • Kate 10:29 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      A student group like CLASSE is never going to have the cohesiveness of a government. Nadeau-Dubois is nobody’s poor little boy but it’s totally a sideshow for the Charest government to treat CLASSE like another government, or like a fully accredited union. It’s more chaotic than that – anyone with any sense would see that it has to be.

      Anyway, as noted above, a lot of the casseurs are not students. Please ponder this: students are specifically people who do have an investment in the future – yes, they’re angry, but they’re adults who have shown themselves willing to devote years of their lives to conforming to university rules and professors’ instructions, they’re mostly not sociopaths. And now they’re willing to delay graduation to make a point, which is that our society has to be about more than bleeding its members dry for the banks.

    • Adam 11:22 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      I think you’re missing my point. I just couldn’t believe that you were invoking this guy’s age, as if it were relevant in any way. You seem to be implying that we need to lay off him because he’s just a kid. Well, if he’s just a kid then why should anyone take him seriously in any capacity?

    • mdblog 13:08 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      From what I can gather, there is no single issue that the protesters are protesting about. Some want to avoid tuition hikes; some want their money better managed by higher education institutions and the government; some are railing against the capitalist system in general. I could probably go on.

      It seems that the only common theme is “For whatever our grievance may be, do what we say or we will do what we can to wreck the common bonds between us, otherwise known as society”.

    • Kevin 16:16 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      @Kate If CLASSE is not cohesive enough to delegate someone with full negotiation powers, they don’t deserve to be at the table. Franchement!

      @Raoul.
      The way Charest is talking he’s not about to call an election.
      If he does, Anglos will likely vote en masse for the Liberals*. After all, anglos in Quebec value education quite a bit, and understand the individual financial payoff. There’s a reason Concordia, McGill, and Bishop’s get more, much more funding from alumni than every French university in the province put together.

      *There are still too many ex-separatists/French language ‘defenders’ in the CAQ for most anglos to be completely comfortable, even if most like 8 out of 10 of his ideas.

    • Raoul 06:43 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @Kevin
      do you really think charest wants to go to election based on his record to date? he’d love to make this the election issue (forget corruption). Say it does happen, would it be duplicitous for the anglos that support the students to vote against them by supporting the libs?

    • qatzelok 11:38 on 2012/04/28 Permalink

      @ Ephraim: “Who’s paying for the broken windows at HSBC, Chapters, TD, Scotia? The damage to cars?”

      A good point. But a better point is: who is paying for all the damage caused by cars and by international banking tyranny? The answer: the students, their non-marching peers, and all the future generations. This generation gap has no easy band-aid, and it’s obviously the status quo that needs to CHANGE.

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