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Manon Cornellier August 13, 2012
Original French Text: http://www2.lactualite.com/cornellier/2012-08-13/la-democratie-selon-jean-charest/
Since the beginning of his electoral campaign, Premier Jean Charest has declared that, after having taken to the streets, it’s now time for the Québécois to express themselves. As if the people protesting and banging on pots weren’t Québécois, but nevertheless. What was the most troublesome was the narrow view that his speech took: vote once every four years and then leave everything in the hands of those elected.
After his stop in Victoriaville on Saturday, we now understand that protesting to express dissidence does not reflect his vision of a vibrant and healthy democracy. So much so, that he constantly mixes protesting with violence and wants to do away with both. See for yourself: “We don’t want protests, do you hear? We don’t want violence. We created a law specifically to put an end to these things”, he said before a group of young Liberals.
Blandine Parchemal, Ph.D. student, Université de Montréal August 9, 2012
“If the student strike continues, that will play into the Liberals’ game”. “By prolonging the strike, students are participating in the re-election of the Liberal Party”. These words can be heard everywhere these days: as much from right wing pundits opposed to the movement as from those wearing the red square, be they citizens, journalists, professors or students.
But what exactly does that mean, playing the Liberals’ game?
August 9, 2012
CEGEPs Saint-Jérôme and Valleyfield voted Wednesday on their return to classes. Students at St. Jerome voted in favor of a truce until the elections, while those at Valleyfield will return to class next Tuesday.
The student association from St. Jerome College chose to call a truce until September 4, the day of Quebec’s general election. However, those who voted Wednesday afternoon are only 250 students out of 3700. Despite the low turnout, the institution’s administration is not calling into question the vote, saying that it reflects the general will.
Tommy Chouinard August 8, 2012
Incumbent Premier Jean Charest will defer to the judgement of police to determine if Law 78 has to be forcibly applied.
Jean Charest, unlike this CAQ adversary François Legault, does not envision sanctions against professors who refuse to cross picket lines to give classes.
The Liberal party leader was walking on eggshells on Wednesday as journalists asked him what he would do if the return to classes did not go smoothly in any of the 14 universities and colleges affected by the student strike.
Normand Baillargeon August 7, 2012
Original French Text: http://voir.ca/normand-baillargeon/2012/08/07/pensees-sur-la-possible-rentree/
As you may know, I am a professor at UQAM.
Students in my faculty, as in many other CEGEPS and universities, have been on strike for a very long time. They are now subject to a law forcing a return to class and forcing me, as their professor, to teach them. The law in question comes with very severe penalties for those who do not comply.
The situation is, I think, a first, and it is daunting and worrisome on many counts. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my thoughts and feelings on the subject.
For starters, I am outraged at the idea of being ordered to learn or teach. On top of all of the good reasons already invoked by other professors, I would add that education is an activity that presupposes a certain degree of consent, for those learning as for those teaching, and I fear the direction we are headed falls very short of that goal. It is hard to imagine teaching under these circumstances, and I completely understand my colleagues’ initiative concerning the “impossibility of teaching under Bill 78” (in French, also here, in English) and their invitation to protest at the Ministry of Education (Recreation and Sports: the name always irked me, but maybe it refers to the fact that teaching leaves little time for recreation and is hard work!).