If you would like to volunteer and join the effort, please contact us at the above email before embarking on any translation work, in order to avoid any redundancies. We cannot accept translations that have not been cleared with us first.
For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
by Akos Verboczy May 22nd, 2012
Original Text: http://journalmetro.com/opinions/dici-et-dailleurs/76920/les-enfants-roi-et-la-loi-speciale/
I want to take advantage of the current social peace created thanks to the political astuteness of our Great Empire Builder, to provide a little history lesson.
Five years ago, the Federation of Medical Specialists (FMSQ) filed two appeals against the Charest government, claiming the organization was “a victim of government abuse of power” after the government had conducted to “pseudo-negotiations” with them. The specialists wanted to cancel the special law imposed by the government, convinced that it was against the Charters of Rights and Freedoms.
I’m afraid the similarities with the current student crisis stop there. The Charest government finally caved to the union of medical specialists after eight months of negotiations. The specialists, who had a pretty good average salary, 250 000 $ per year, ended up with an average increase of 92 000$ per physician!
Before agreeing to sit down with the government, FMSQ demanded (and obtained) the invalidation of the special law which had just passed. In fact, the law enforced aspects of the specialists jobs related to salaries and medical practice, notably targeting a pressure tactic where specialists cared for a minimum of patients …
Ah yes, the salary increase of 8,000 doctors over 10 years, costing taxpayers $ 1.3 billion, covered mainly by the famous $200 “health tax” that Quebecers now have to pay each year in addition to their taxes.
It’s weird, the Liberal government at the time did not ignore or trivialize the claims of medical specialists nor did they label the doctors corporatist and “socially irresponsible”, nor did they make grand statements about equity between taxpayers and democracy on behalf of the silent majority, nor did they refuse to meet with their representatives and nor they hesitate to appoint a mediator when the union demanded one. Most importantly, nobody said that the union’s demands were the whims of spoiled children.
On the contrary. The government suspended the law and continued negotiations even though doctors had boycotted training and supervising students and refused to pursue other educational activities that may have jeopardized the graduation cohort of medical students. And no, neither the Minister of Health, nor the Minister of Education encouraged the students to seek injunctions in the courts even if their ‘access to education “was at stake.
We have forgotten that the obstetrician-gynecologists even threatened to stop performing deliveries! “They expressed their frustration … It’s mandated by the federation, but ultimately, I encourage them,” said Gaétan Barrette, president of the FMSQ. She added: “We will ensure that we use all available pressure tactics to the greatest extent possible. “
It’s funny, but Jean Charest did not demand that the union dissociate from their more radical members or condemn the pressure tactics.
“This is a happy ending to the seeds of a crisis that deprived the health system of serenity it desperately needs” concluded Alain Dubuc of La Presse. You know the journalist, the author of “In Praise of Wealth”, who recently wrote this about the current student crisis: “we are witnessing the collective expression of child-kings, a phenomenon from a generation that nobody has ever said no to. Respecting democratic principles does not mean the government has to retreat to whenever one of its decisions provokes resistance. It is also has to make choices, for the common good, even displeasing ones. “
Displeasing decisions, I guess it depends on who is involved.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.