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Lisa-Marie Gervais May 2, 2013
Photo : Annik MH De Carufel Le Devoir
The Saint-Pierre-Claver school is located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal at the intersection of two major streets.
A citizen assembly aiming to sensitize drivers to the security of the children attending the Saint-Pierre-Claver school, located at the intersection of two major arteries in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, ended unexpectedly Thursday morning when the police intervened by virtue of municipal bylaw P-6. The assembly, that was attended by several elected officials, ended abruptly at around 8am, coinciding with the beginning of classes.
According to Marianne Giguère, a mother who is very involved in matters of security in the vicinity of the school, around six police officers in cars and on bicycles announced to the 80-odd parents and children who were crossing from one corner of the street to the other, all while respecting the street lights, that the demonstration was illegal by virtue of P-6. The intervention was even more surprising to the parents because the community agent assigned to the school had been advised about the awareness action and had already been onsite since 7:30am.
“People had begun to cross without impeding traffic, because we wanted it to be a positive and safe demonstration, and the police arrived in their cars, then another two by bicycle. We were told that our demonstration was illegal because we hadn’t provided an itinerary”, says Mrs. Giguère. “We dispersed and it turned out all right in one way, because school was starting and there was already a movement of children who were going inside”.
Mrs. Giguère underlines ironically the “discernment” the police officers promised to demonstrate, especially by stating that they would not intervene nor demand an itinerary in cases of celebratory demonstrations following hockey games, for example. “That discernment wasn’t present this morning”, she remarked.
Richard Chevalier Weilbrenner November 5, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/363162/outrage-au-peuple
The cup of injustice runneth over. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is considered a criminal by the Superior Court of Quebec. And, barring an appeal overturning the judgement of the first tribunal, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois will forever be branded as having, “knowingly incited […] disobedience of the orders of the Court, including those of judge Jean-François Émond of May 2, 2012, thus committing a contempt of court.”
It’s as if we are in a nightmare, but we are awake, and we read right. The tribunal, basing its decisions on principles of law and jurisprudence, gave reasons for its decision. One can wonder how the student Jean-François Morasse took the news. His cause prevailed. Is his heart joyful? Is he a little ashamed? Deep down, it doesn’t really matter: to ask these questions is to answer them, a little bit.
The question is whether the tribunal’s decision respects our system of administration of justice. The answer is yes, if you consider only the legal arguments. But the answer has to be no, if it is based on the natural feeling of what is just and what is unjust – that is, if you answer the question based on fairness.
In this case, the distance between “justice” and “judiciary” is striking. The former has to do with fairness; the latter has to do with the ability to distinguish true from false and carries a judgement of law. It is simple for a judge to base a decision on “justice.” That is what we expect from judges: if the rule of law is respected, we can conclude that justice has been done. But the case we are dealing with is not so simple.
The beliefs held by the citizen Gabrield Nadeau-Dubois did not materialize out of nowhere, but out of an unprecedented climate of confrontation between a peaceful protest movement and a government of patently bad faith who turned a blind eye to the excesses of the forces of order. It was a government that took great care to never talk of the student “strike,” insisting on speaking of the “boycott” of classes (a word which is found in the Émond judgement, to the diminishment of boycotts). It was a government that obscured the line between vandals and the larger protest movement. It was a government that was severely criticized by a large part of the population, the press and observers of social phenomena.
There are many attenuating circumstances that judge Émond could have considered to render a more nuanced decision, he did not, opting instead for a strict application of the law. Far be it from me to say this was to send a message.
But I can’t help but think that justice might not have been done as well as we would have liked. Nor was there an attempt made to bring the two sides closer after such contempt of the people, for which Jean Charest is responsible: Jean Charest who, under cover of defending democracy, instead kneecapped its fundamental principles, and who insulted the intelligence of the people by his distortions of the facts and his grotesque, ridiculous statements.
What is more dangerous to society: challenging unjust laws, refusing the play the same game as the professional manipulators, going to the barricades if need be? Again, to ask these questions is to suggest their answers.
The contempt Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is said to have displayed is nothing compared to the contempt of “Badge 728” who spit in the face of the entire people. It’s not just the “red squares” who were on the receiving end of this contempt. All of society was held in contempt by the scorn poured out by the government of Jean Charest, and by the foul language of Badge 728.
Lisa-Marie Gervais November 1, 2012
Gabriel Nadeau Dubois, militant student activist, has been found guilty Thursday of contempt of court. The student in question let it be known on twitter that he would not make comment before Friday.
According to his press secretary, Renaud Poirier St-Pierre, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois will meet with his lawyer Friday morning and a meeting with media will follow. The question is whether there will be an appeal.
Nadeau Dubois who was a co-spokesperson for the Broader Coalition for Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE) will find out what his sentence is on November 9, 2012.
Lisa-Marie Gervais September 12, 2012
Since 1990, the cost of studies in Canada has increased three times more quickly than inflation.
Far from following inflation, the cost of studies has taken off rather sharply everywhere in Canada in the last decade, making university less and less affordable reports a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Since 1990, the cost of undergraduate university, including tuition and related costs, has increased by 6.2% annually, that is to say three times faster than inflation. And if the trend continues, it will increase by nearly 18% in four years.
In the ranking of provinces where study is more costly, Quebec could maintain it’s position at ninth or tenth, when the PQ government who will cancel the tuition increase rather than increase it, will take power. With a bill for $ 4472 in 2015 to 2016, it would be found however in eighth position before Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador, if the defeated Liberal government’s plan was implemented. With the costs of $ 9,231 in 2015 to 2016, Ontario is the least affordable province.
Erika Shaker, co-author of the study recognizes that Quebec has always had the lowest tuition- and the lowest debt, which averages $15,000, against $27,000 on average in Canada – even if Newfoundland and Labrador win the prize for affordability when counting the fees. She believes however, that even in the scenario of the PQ government, “deliberate actions should be taken to prove that the real intention of the government is to make studies more affordable,” she told le Devoir.
David Desjardins 13 Sept, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/359051/la-culture-du-mepris
Jean Charest was stepping down live on TV when I flipped to that channel, pausing for a moment to listen to his trembling, tearful goodbye.
Did I smile?
A little, yes. But it wasn’t the toothy smile of someone who delights in another’s misery. Nor was it a smile of empathy. A person can’t be sad to see the end of a drawn-out spectacle where the actors and the director both seem to have been mocking the audience all along.
Really, I smiled to myself, hoping that we were witnessing the departure of a grand master of the genre, a rare breed of politician, in as much as politics is a game of manipulation — one who could ride the desires of the moment and the changes in mood of the people.
And Jean Charest rode like a king.
Marie-Andrée Chouinard September 7, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/358624/obstacles-a-surmonter
Olivier D. Asselin August 31, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/358149/odjine-monsieur-charest
Demonstrators surrounded the Salon du Plan Nord that took place at the Palais des congrès last April.
A letter to Mr. Charest,
A few months ago, I believed it was wise to let history judge you. I thought to myself that, before time’s relentless authority, your shenanigans, subterfuges and pettiness wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. I still believe it, but today I also believe that history alone cannot guaranty your downfall. Humans have to contribute too.
Lisa-Marie Gervais August 23, 2012
The hunt for the red squares continues with public service employees. Six markers employed by the Ministry of Education were suspended from its Montreal offices on Fullum Street after wearing the symbol associated with the student movement against rising tuition, learned Le Devoir.
Wednesday, two markers were notified by the Human Resources Division that they could not return to work if they wore the red square. On Thursday, four other markers who wore the square in solidarity experienced the same fate.
Jean-Pascal Bilodeau August 30, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/358023/pourquoi-nous-bloquons-encore-des-cours
We block classes. We are those who’ve been attacked by the press since the beginning of the return to classes. We are those who are still holding out against the blows of police batons. They tell us to calm down, to vote, to calm down some more. It is what they have always said. As they arrest us one after the other, no one ever asks us why we’re still here.
I have never seen such profound incomprehension on the part of the media. A lot of things have required explanation throughout the strike, but this is beyond the limits of the imaginable.
But it’s simple. We’re blocking classes because student associations have voted to continue their strike. We have never blocked a single course whose students have voted to return to it. Cégep students are returning to class in total calm; that so many are surprised at this makes us sick, because this calm is but the logical conclusion of all that led up to it.
We don’t need to ask ourselves whether a prolonged strike will be useful. That question is discussed in our general assemblies. Our actions constitute an affirmation of democracy. Democracy is the one and only way for us to decide to go back to class. Those who wish to continue their courses must do so by democratic means, and exclusively so. If they deem the participation rates at strike votes to be too insignificant, their solution should be to participate, to debate the issues that concern them. Once present in this arena they could, at any moment, bring up a petition to vote.
Lisa-Marie Gervais August 23, 2012
In the midst of the electoral campaign, the demonstration this “22nd” was about more than education.
Feeling like they hadn’t been a key subject of the electoral campaign, they took to the streets to be heard. Thousands of protesters marched in Montreal’s downtown yesterday, as students and anti-capitalists alike collectively uttered an unequivocal message: “Cha-rest! Get-Out!”
The calm and joyful tone of the demonstration offered a striking contrast to the vehemence of the protesters’ message. Most were sympathetic to the “red square” movement. Alicia, who is not a student but who was quickly won over by the movement, said point-blank “the theme of this demonstration is to get Charest out. I had to be here.” “Quebecers are in the streets, as we speak, and it’s very clear whose side they are on!” she added.