Updates from April, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

      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

      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!

      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

      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.

  • Kate 18:52 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The federal human resources minister won’t explain why funding was abruptly cut to RAPSIM, a group that coordinates services to the homeless in Montreal.

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

      The Cons are simply following Jonathan Swift’s textbook.

    • Kate 17:21 on 2012/04/27 Permalink

      You know, I almost wish they would. If the government actually wants certain people to fuck off and die, they should build euthanasia booths, and encourage nonproductive people to use them. It would be ugly but it would be more honest.

  • Kate 10:53 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga has tweeted a map of Montreal roadworks for 2012.

  • Kate 10:04 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    OK, it’s probably escapism into a brighter past, but a tumblr site called Montreal: Then and Now has a whole lot of Expo 67 images categorized by topic.

  • Kate 09:09 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The head of the Old Port agency is answering tricky opposition questions about her travelling expenses. OpenFile’s editor links this story with the urban beach under development in the Old Port, whose metal parasols apparently cost $5,000 each.

    • Martin 09:23 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Cette plage urbaine est un véritable scandale. Il faudra payer pour y avoir accès, alors que le quai de l’Horloge devrait être un espace public ouvert à tous.

    • Kate 09:56 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Je suis d’accord avec toi.

    • qatzelok 10:45 on 2012/04/26 Permalink

      Her (Claude Benoit’s) autobiography: “How the Logic of Capitalism Eroded My Soul”

  • Kate 09:00 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    There were 85 arrests after Wednesday night’s protest turned into a riot in the streets of downtown. Le Devoir says it was a group of around 10,000 people and that the protest began peacefully after Line Beauchamp excluded CLASSE from talks and the other two groups walked out in support.

    La Presse has an entire dossier on the subject.

  • Kate 08:50 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Why Martin Patriquin is not troubled by Ignatieff’s thoughts on Quebec.

  • Kate 08:39 on 2012/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    François Cardinal makes a passionate plea to save Bixi from being sold off.

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