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June 18, 2012
I am writing to you today, to you, to your government, knowing in advance that the words of a writer don’t interest you, that you won’t read them since they have never and will never have any impact on the economic life of your country (pays). Your province, I should say. Which you are running in a rather strange way nowadays.
I am writing to you all the same, because I cannot do otherwise: the confusion, the anger, the disbelief that that I have been filled with for months is in the process of spoiling the language living in me, and because I can no longer pass this language off on fiction, or poetry (that will come back, don’t worry), I must empty my reservoir a little so that it doesn’t catch fire and burn me on the spot.
Robert Dutrisac June 13, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/352130/nous-on-sait
Consult the list of the letter’s signatories: http://www.ledevoir.com/documents/pdf/lettre_ministre_finale_signatures.pdf
Irate, some 2600 key players in Quebec’s cultural milieu, in an unprecedented revolt, demanded a public apology on behalf of the minister of Culture and Communications, Christine St-Pierre, for her comments linking all those who wear the red square with violence. The minister refused to offer an apology yesterday.
In a public letter published on the Devoir’s website, these thousands of artists, actors, directors, filmmakers, writers, CEGEP and university professors, cultural journalists, and other members of the artistic community are outraged by Christine St-Pierre’s “demagogic comments” following Fred Pellerin’s refusal to receive the title of Knight of the National Order of Quebec last Friday. In a letter sent to the institution, the storyteller had invoked the current social crisis to justify his decision. The minister then affirmed that the storyteller had the right to wear the red square, “but us, we know what the red square means, it means intimidation, violence”.
Collective of authors May 31, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/351265/violence-a-lionel-groulx-voici-notre-version
The events that led to the deployment of Sûreté du Québec forces at Collège Lionel Groulx on May 15 could be compared to Stanley Milgram’s well-known psychological experiment .
In the early 1960s, Milgram demonstrated that an isolated subject could be convinced to administer supposedly lethal electric shocks to a third person in an adjoining room, submitting to an authority figure who was in the subject’s presence. In this situation, the isolated subject renounces his or her own autonomy and moral sensibility, becoming nothing more than the executive agent of authority.
Open letter on the part of university professors in Quebec and France May 30, 2012
As university teachers and researchers in Quebec and France, we have a close rapport with our universities and our students, whose education we contribute to on both sides of the Atlantic. Faced with the current situation in Quebec, we are torn between anger and hope. Anger at the cynicism of a government that has repressed dialogue and let the situation deteriorate for too long. Hope in response to a blossoming movement that is sowing the seeds of irreversible change in its path.
Let’s start with the anger. Over the past three months, Premier Jean Charest and his government have plunged Quebec into one of the worst social crises in its history.
by Collectif d’artistes, intellectuels et syndicalistes May 31, 2012
Original French Text: http://voir.ca/jepenseque/2012/05/31/contre-la-loi-78/
Almost two weeks after the adoption of Bill 78, a group of artists, intellectuals and union leaders sent us this letter in which they ask the Charest government to repeal this law that, according to the group, is a serious attack on citizens’ freedom of expression.
WE, artists, intellectuals and trade unionists, are coming forth to denounce Bill 78 as an attack on foundamental rights and liberties guaranteed under the Canadian and Quebec charters.
We witness, in particular, how the freedom of expression is ridiculed given the intolerable limits imposed on demonstrations as to the time, number and space; that the freedom of conscience is violated by the creation of the offense of opinion; that the freedom to assemble is threatened by measures, without precedent, agains the right to organize.
May 24 2012
Original French Text: http://la-lanterne.eu/chroniques/lettre-ouverte-au-premier-ministre-du-quebec/7220
For 100 days now the students of Québec are protesting tuition increases.
I am writing you a letter that you won’t read, even if you had the time.
Ten years ago, I was brought to the University of Montreal (l’Université de Montréal) to contribute to excellence in the education and research of bioinformatics, an emerging field particularly important for molecular medicine. To make me leave my position as director of research at CNRS in France, I was offered a Canadian research endowment that not only provided me with the funds to conduct my research, but also a $30 000 bonus. Better still, the government of Québec exempted me from provincial income tax for the first five years. I should have been careful, but scientists are very naïve. How can you consider that a government is serious in its support of universities when it exempts the richest from income taxes, my salary being in effect about $100 000?