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Daphnée Dion-Viens August 14, 2012
“Yes, we would have liked to continue the strike,” says CLASSE co-spokesperson Jeanne Reynolds. ”But we can see that people want to continue to mobilize for the march on August 22nd and strike votes will be taken up again after the election.”
Student associations are refusing to admit defeat even though most cégep students have decided to return to classes. Far from being out of steam, student leaders are talking about a change of strategy in light of the September 4th election.
FEUQ Press Release August 11, 2012
Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), presently in congress in Montreal, has taken advantage of the electoral campaign now underway to invite politicians to present their party platforms and take questions from students. Representatives of each party were invited to meet members of the federation and to put forward their ideas, particularly those having to do with youth politics. ”We have heard very little talk about what matters to youth since the start of this election,” said Martine Desjardins, president of FEUQ. ”After the spring that we had, it is very disturbing to see the political parties pretend that nothing has happened, and ignore the legitimate concerns of Quebec citizens — it is a bigger concern than the tuition increase.”
Pierre Duchesnes, Parti Québécois candidate for Borduas, Françoise David, co-spokesperson for Quebec Solidaire and candidate for Gouin, and Simon-Pierre Bélanger, Option Nationale candidate for the riding of Viau, appeared before the FEUQ congress to deliver statements, followed by a question period. Each party’s platform was compared to FEUQ’s recommendations, particularly in the domains of education, the environment, and ethics in politics. ”Members of FEUQ are now better equipped to evaluate what each party is proposing in response to student demands,” says the president of FEUQ. ”Now, the federation and its members will share the information we have received to inform students about the interest each party takes in student affairs. It seems to us that young people will be more inclined to get out to the voting booths on September 4 if they know that parties are interested in what concerns them.”
Paul Journet August 2, 2012
(Laval) CLASSE has rejected the appeal for a truce, put forward by Léo Bureau-Blouin, the PQ candidate for Laval-des-Rapides. FEUQ and FECQ remain “neutral.” The three student associations say they are nevertheless interested by the PQ’s idea of a summit about higher education, though they have some reservations.
Léo Bureau-Blouin says he doesn’t want to wade into student politics, but nevertheless, he does have one wish: that students “imagine an electoral truce.”
CLASSE believes Bureau-Blouin should have kept quiet. CLASSE co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was brusque: “There’s always a sense of malaise when people from outside the movement weigh in on the student debate to give advice.”
Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) August 3, 2012
The research chair on democracy and parliamentary institutions has presented troubling numbers on the low voter turnout among young people in the last federal elections and the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) looks forward to reversing that trend in the coming election so that young people can make a difference. “More than a million young people did not vote in the last elections. That’s huge. The plan that we’ve put in place aims to counter this so that young people can be the group that makes the difference on September 4 and vote in massive numbers,” declared Martine Desjardins, president of FEUQ.
In 2008, 36% of young people aged 18 to 24 voted and 41% of young people aged 25-34. Absenteeism in these two categories represents 17% of the total number of voters in Quebec. In the early days of this election campaign, FEUQ has set out to reduce this absenteeism by getting 65% of youth out to vote. ”We have to get ourselves out to the voting booths in great numbers if the opinions of young people are going to be taken into account in the next government. A massive youth vote could tip the scale and the political parties would then have to consider the ideas and concerns of young people,” said Desjardins.
July 26, 2012
Contrary to what is projected by the Director General of Elections in Quebec (DGEQ), the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) and the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) think that changes to electoral law are ill-conceived and they do not ensure that it will be easier for students to vote than in 2008, since those who leave their homes temporarily during the time of their studies will not be able to vote at their schools.
“The Liberal government has refused to put voting booths in CEGEPs and universities. It is now refusing to allow students to vote in the district of their schools and it has proposing instead a new rule with little bearing on the reality of life for students. One has to ask if it is not doing everything in its power to hinder students from voting in ‘student ridings’ such as Sherbrooke, out of fear losing the next elections,” wonder Éliane Laberge, president of FECQ, and Yanick Grégoire, executive vice-president of FEUQ.
Patrice Bergeron July 13 2012
Michelle Couchesne, the minister of education, has condemned the methods of action that student associations propose for this summer where an election is foreseen.
She reproaches the student protest movement for distancing itself from the field of education rights and for getting into all sorts of other debates, which do not further a resolution of the original problem.
At a time when an election call on August 1 seems increasingly likely, the Coalition large pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) has undertaken a tour of Quebec, to speak about democracy, the Plan Nord, shale gas, feminism and aboriginal rights.
Annabelle Blais June 18, 2012, updated July 19, 2012
Photo caption: Student associations are counting on making youth realize the importance of getting out to vote, as well as lawfully making their concerns heard to candidates. Métro Archives.
In the eyes of student associations, a letter sent to Elections Quebec by the director general of the Liberal Party shows that the Liberals are scared of the youth vote.
Karl Blackburn, director general of the Parti Liberal du Québec, sent a letter on Tuesday to the director general of Elections Québec (DGEQ), stating concern about respect for the electoral law by student associations. ”Having recently announced that it was targeting a dozen ridings, CLASSE would have us believe today that its actions will not be taken within the context of an electoral campaign. Don’t be fooled, we are looking at nothing other than an announcement of potential violations to the law,” wrote Blackburn.
Marco Fortier July 12 2012
After a spring of total mobilization against the Charest government, the student movement prepares trench warfare against the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) in the elections being announced for September.
>In graphics: the hotly disputed ridings
The student associations put everything in the works to “get out the vote” of protest against the liberal government. The students are convinced that the youth vote can make a difference in a dozen ridings, including that of Sherbrooke, represented by the premier Jean Charest since 1998.
“The students have been mobilized all spring against the tuition fee increase. Our priority is now to ensure that they will go vote”, says Yanick Grégoire, vice president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), which represents 125 000 members.
Jean Charest minimized the impact of this meeting.
Caption: The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, received the honor of Officer of the National Order of Quebec from Jean Charest today. Photo : La Presse canadienne (photo) Jacques Boissinot
Today, the premier Jean Charest minimized the impact of a meeting between the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, and student leaders on the subject of the increase in tuition fees.
Before coming to Quebec to participate in the International forum on the French language, Mr. Delanoë had solicited this meeting with student representatives.
A few hours before receiving the honor of Officer of the National Order of Quebec from Mr. Charest, Mr. Delanoë met the leaders of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) and the Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (TACEQ).
June 22, 2012
[follow link for embedded video]
Like on the 22nd of every month since March, a large national protest took place in Montreal, but this time in Quebec City too, to protest against the tuition fee hike and against bill 78, regarding, among others, the right to protest. They brought together tens of thousands of people.
In Montreal, the protest took place peacefully, in a festive and peaceful atmosphere. Many families participated in the march alongside students, but also elected officials, including the spokespersons for Quebec solidaire, Amir Khadir and Françoise David, and union organizations like l’Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada.