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Marie-Andrée Chouinard July 21, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/355066/loi-78-dur-camouflet
Now that we know that the guardian of rights and freedoms in Québec judges bill 78 to be incompatible with the Charter, it would take a lot of gall to apply it without a tribunal having really come to a decision on its legitimacy.
This is a moral maxim, nothing more, but it has an unusual weight. The Commission on human rights and youth rights, the government’s expert in matters of rights and freedoms, verified the conformity of the special bill 78 (become law 12) with fundamental liberties. Its verdict is final: for the objective of returning to class aimed for by the legislation, not only are the means used disproportionately, but they don’t respect the charters.
Nothing obliges the Charest government to follow this independent organization’s good advice – ah! Independence! A very dear virtue nowadays. So it is in effect before a tribunal where the law is contested that the battle will come to an end with a verdict in due form, without moral color. But all this won’t take place before next year. Between now and then, classes will restart. An election will be called.
July 19, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/Comm_HTML/COMM_PL78_commentaires_juillet2012.html
For immediate circulation
Special law aimed to ensure the students’ return to classes
Some disposals of the Law infringe upon the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, according to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse [The Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission].
Montreal, July 19, 2012 – The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse [The Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission] is of the opinion that the special law seeking to ensure the students’ return to classes infringes upon fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The detailed analysis of the Law allowing students to receive education dispensed by the post-secondary institutions they attend, which was made public today, confirms the serious concerns that the Commission had expressed last May 18 when the National Assembly adopted Bill 78. The Commission had then committed to analyze the Bill, in accordance with its responsibility to take issue with disposals of Quebec laws that are contrary to the Charter.
Philippe Teisceira-Lessard July 13, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201207/13/01-4543449-loi-78-les-associations-etudiantes-font-appel-du-jugement.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_BO2_quebec_canada_178_accueil_POS2
PHOTO CAPTION: A demonstrator during the May 22 march | Credit: Alain Roberge, La Presse
The student associations remain hopeful that Law 78 will be suspended in time for the resumption of the school year, in August-September.
They have filed an appeal of the unfavorable ruling issued by Judge François Rolland at the end of June.
Félix-Antoine Michaud, an attorney for the students, confirmed that it will be heard next Wednesday by the Court of Appeal. The court will first have to decide whether an appeal is permissible before it hears the substantive arguments.
Pascale Breton July 10 2012
The strike that has divided the reds and the greens still risks leaving long-lasting consequences, not only among the students, but also with professors and administrative personnel.
Teachers are seeing the month of August’s arrival with apprehension. The courses of the winter semester have to resume in the cégeps and universities touched by the strike. It’s a real headache to renvision the course plans without reducing the education of future graduates – without counting that no one knows if the classes will really and truly be able to restart because the threat of resuming the student strike is still hangs in the air.
The students are the big losers of the catch-up session proposed to save the winter semester. Condensing the material into only a few weeks, between mid-august and the end of September, the teachers fear they must cut corners.
Blandine Parchemal July 7 2012
In the July 6 2012 issue of Le Devoir you can read an op-ed entitled “Student movement: the electoral challenge”. In addition to raising some important points regarding the risk of a PLQ electoral campaign bearing the themes of law and order and realizing itself on the backs of the students, it seems to me nevertheless that the verdict put forward regarding the student movement is profoundly unjust in relation to the totality of the work that it has accomplished among Quebecois society during the last few months.
The author starts his text in effect by speaking about “defeat in public opinion”, “big disappointment” and ends by declaring that this could be “the biggest defeat of the Quebec student movement” if the Liberal party is reelected. Of course, if the PLQ are reelected in the next election, we will have a very bitter taste in our mouths. Nevertheless, even if this situation has to be, I won’t necessarily speak of the defeat of the student movement but rather the defeat of Quebec society as it was, and this, because it’s the student movement has always strived for a popular challenge to the current government.’
As for the question of public opinion, listen to us say that we have never really known what they think and that it’s probably not one more survey that will allow us to know more. Also, above and beyond general public opinion on the movement, what interested me much more, is analyzing the evolution of the population’s participation in the movement. And yet, when I see the beauty of the casseroles movement for example, all these people who came out into the streets with us many nights in a row, these children, these grand parents, I can’t resign myself to speak of defeat and still less of disappointment. When I see the popularity of the large protests on the 22nd of each month, the flowering of neighborhood assemblies or simply the totality of these red squares worn proudly, I can’t speak of defeat either.
July 6 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/353985/une-coalition-s-active-a-recenser-les-victimes-du-conflit-etudiant
A coalition has started compiling a list of victims of acts of political repression since the start of the student strike in mid-February.
The Ligue des droits et libertés (League of Rights and Freedoms), the legal committee of CLASSE (Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante / Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity), as well as the Association des juristes progressistes (Association of progressive lawyers) will collect testimony from persons who suffered police intimidation or brutality, or reprisals because they wore a red square.
Launched yesterday, the gathering of testimony will continue until August 13, even though CLASSE “foresees that the student conflict will last beyond this date set by the special law for the resumption of classes”.
The coalition is calling for all those who were “victims” or “witnesses” of “any police action, violent speech or physical act of violence, arrest, ‘kettling’, body search, search of personal effects, handcuffing, being photographed, questioning about your status or political opinions, detention […], being given a ticket for an infraction, enforcement of article 31 of the criminal code, a criminal charge or other [incident]” to provide their testimony on the web site of the Ligue des droits et libertés.
Those who received “directives” or who “were subject to reprisals or received disciplinary warnings in their workplace” because of their wearing the red square, as well as those who were restricted from access to public or private property, or who were denied service for that reason are also invited to share their stories.
Joël-Denis Bellavance & Martin Croteau June 19, 2012
Original French Text:
(Ottawa) The Conservative government has made a grand gesture to defend Quebec’s right to have adopted Law 78, a measure aimed at stifling the student conflict. What’s more, the conservatives are challenging opposition parties to follow its lead. Stephen Harper’s lieutenant in Quebec, Christian Paradis, introduced a motion to this effect a few minutes after entering the House of Commons on Thursday.
“This Chamber recognizes the right of Quebec’s duly elected National Assembly to adopt laws, like Law 78, within its areas of jurisdiction”, stipulates the motion. Christian Paradis is also the Minister of Industry.
This decision comes 24 hours after Quebec and Ottawa had each had to brush off criticism from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In a long discourse on the state of human rights on Monday, Navi Pillay said he was “dissappointed” over the Charest government’s adoption of a law restricting the right to protest.
Étienne Côté-Paluck June 11, 2012
Original French Text: http://urbania.ca/blog/3152/la-democratie-n-est-pas-foutue
While thousands of people are being arrested because they are protesting peacefully, ordinary writers with good sense find it outrageous to pretend that truncheons, political profiling, and mass arrests don’t suggest intimidation.*
The students’ cause (a near doubling of tuition fees over 7 years, an offer rejected by nearly all student associations) really seems to have created a free for all for everyone to say anything they want.
The Finance minister, Raymond Bachand, shamelessly affirmed that he wants nothing to do with a Quebec where elected officials can’t “walk around in the street without being assaulted.”
Oh really? So does this rule also apply to regular people?
Because in terms of abuse of power, there’s always the Sarkozy or Bush model. Cute.
If we want to be part of a Quebec in which police arrest young ‘vandals,’ we must also want to arrest those officers of the peace who dishonour their badges and colleagues for the good cause. Even if the majority of police officers have all the goodwill in the world, why do some of them engage with people who provoke them? We don’t pay them to attack citizens.
Catherine Lalonde & Raphaël Dallaire-Ferland
Are the identity checks in the metro for wearers of red squares we’ve been hearing about since the beginning of Montreal’s Grand Prix real? Are those who show their opposition to the tuition hike now getting searched, taken to the nearest police station, as people have been saying on social networks for the last few hours? Saturday, two journalist from the Devoir tried to bring the situation to light by putting red squares on their chests before going into the metro station. The result? They were soon questioned and held for investigation. “We do just that, criminal profiling,” a Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) agent then said while searching our journalists.
Saturday, 1:50 PM: under the bright sun, the journalists Raphaël Dallaire Ferland and Catherine Lalonde meet up at Place Émilie-Gamelin. Carrying backpacks, they each put on a red square, she adds a black one. He wears a red scarf around his neck, loosely, that leaves his face bare. She carries two big white pieces of cardboard. Signs? Not even, not posters either. Just two big blank pieces of cardboard. Off to Berri-UQAM station.
In the metro, before getting to the platform, Raphaël gets stopped. Four police officers ask to search his pack “for security reasons.” The SPVM officers are polite. “We’re searching everyone,” says Agent Norbert, “because yesterday people threw flaming beer bottles at us. We even searched a guy with a hockey bag.” Yet Catherine passed without a problem.
On the platform, a few minutes later, our journalists, still unidentified, ask a half-dozen people, of all ages, carrying bigger bags than theirs, if they got searched. Five say no. The only one who had the same experience is a young man, twenty-something, who was wearing a red square when he was intercepted.