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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.
Raphaël Dallaire Ferland August 8, 2012
An online petition is being circulated in support of eleven teachers
[Photo : Pedro Ruiz - Le Devoir. Caption: Bill 78 was denounced from all quarters last spring.]
Management of Collège Lionel-Groulx didn’t seem to get the memo that contributors to the “Ideas” section of Le Devoir are “free to think for themselves.” After publication of an open letter in this newspaper in May, a written reprimand has been issued to each of its eleven signatories, who are being threatened with dismissal if they offend again.
Eleven instructors denounced the way in which the management of the college was manipulated into being an enforcement agency. In an op-ed piece titled, “Violence à Lionel-Groulx: voici notre version,” published May 31, 2012. They criticized Monique Laurin, the director of the collège de Sainte-Thérèse, for her decision to enforce the injunction. They said, “This special law is an explosive weapon in the hands of an executive such as this.”
Why it’s important
The the Quebec Human Rights Commission has this to say about Law 12 (formerly Bill 78): “To say that an employee has a duty of loyalty does not mean that he or she can be prohibited from publically speaking out in disagreement against his employer by legitimate means, as this is an exercise of freedom of expression.”
Disciplinary action was recently taken against 11 teachers of Collège Lionel-Groulx for a lack of loyalty to their employer.
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!).
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.”
Daniel Renaud July 18, 2012 (updated July 19, 2012)
Original French Text: http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2012/07/18/une-escouade-plus-mordante
Photo caption: The 2012 version of the Urban Brigade has more teeth and is mobilized to assist other services charged with controlling the student demonstrations. (Archive photo.)
Compelled by student demonstrations and social context, the traditional Urban Brigade of the Montréal Police is presenting a somewhat more repressive face this summer, the Journal has noticed.
And by reason of the more movement-oriented social context, the mandate of the brigade, which normally terminates at the end of summer, could be extended into the fall if the situation warrants it; that is to say, if the protests resume in earnest.
Created in 2009, at its origin to ensure the smooth running of the many summer festivals in Montréal, the Urban Brigade of 2012 has more teeth than the three previous incarnations.
La Presse canadienne July 19, 2012
[Photo caption] Many people denounced Bill 78 during the May 22 protest against raising tuition fees. Photo: Jacques Nadeau — Le Devoir.
The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ) believes that the special law forcing the return of students to class this August violates the fundamental freedoms safeguarded by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The Commission’s 56-page analysis concludes that articles 12 to 31 of the bill, which became Bill 12 after its adoption, directly or indirectly infringe upon the freedoms of conscience, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, and association guaranteed by the Charter.