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Michel Corbeil August 2, 2012
Photo caption: Wednesday, on the very night the election was launched, the leader of the Liberal party of Quebec was welcomed in the riding of Taschereau by a small group of opponents who tapped on casseroles for several long minutes. Credit: La Presse Canadienne
Now that demonstrations against his government are back and louder than ever, Jean Charest has challenged other party leaders to condemn any violent act on the part of protesters.
The incumbent premier took advantage of a meeting with the media on the morning of Thursday, August 2, to make his appeal. A journalist with TVA asked him for a comment on the fact that his office had been targeted by demonstrators. He retorted that he saw it as “an affair that troubled me greatly.”
“One of your own journalists, during a live report, had projectiles thrown at him,” he said. ”This is worrying. Frankly, there is no justification, in 2012, for people doing these kinds of acts.”
“I denounce such acts and I call on the leaders of other parties to do the same: to denounce, unreservedly and unequivocally, acts such as what we saw yesterday [August 1], towards people representing the media,” as well as to denounce demonstrators who use “violence and intimidation.”
Wednesday, on the very night the election was launched, the leader of the Liberal party of Québec was welcomed in the riding of Taschereau by a small group of opponents tapping on casseroles for several long minutes. At a press conference, Charest did not want to say whether his itinerary was planned to avoid such encounters.
Charest told journalists that demonstrations in opposition to his plans to raise tuition fees will not change his determination to impose such fees. He maintained he is looking to the future with this plank of his platform, “which is good, and that we believe in.”
Pauline Marois replies
“Obviously, every time there is violence, it must be denounced, and we have done so every time,” replied the leader of the Parti Québécois, Pauline Marois. ”But, between you and me, the person responsible for what is actually going on is Jean Charest, his bad governance, his irresponsibility regarding this question and this crisis that he himself provoked with Bill 78.” Like she did many times the night before, the party leader hammered on about how Charest is using the student crisis to distract voters from his record.
Nevertheless, some people meeting at the campaign office of Léo Bureau-Blouin, the PQ candidate for Laval-des-Rapides, said they fear that new violent demonstrations could overshadow their leader’s campaign. ”What makes me afraid is that CLASSE [Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante] could take to the streets. That’s just what Jean Charest wants,” said Mireille Côté, who is 68 years old. ”I wonder if all the racket is coming from higher up,” Rolande Filion said from her side, evoking the possibility that it is the premier himself who is orchestrating such acts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.