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For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
By eleven University of Laval professors July 2012
Original French Text: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2012/07/A/47979
Anxious to preserve the accessibility of the masses to higher education, the Quebec students have opposed for four months, a raise in tuition in universities announced by the liberal Jean Charest government(1). The extension of the movement to the rest of the population, followed shortly in early spring with the adoption of the special law on May 18th. This would push Quebec one step closer to an authoritian regime. These measures have encouraged students to engage a large segment of Quebec society against the party in power and the people directing the economy.
For about thirty years, the issue in regards to access to education, has been threatened by Neo-Liberals. The question arises quite regularly in Quebec. The debate has developed in specific terms, which is quite in contrast with the “rest of Canada”(RDC). Transferred from the Catholic church to the province little after WWII, the education system was seen as an emanation of society which had institutionalized itself progressively: It was the result of institutional and policy framework. Access to university for the largest possible audience was perceived as an instrument for social mobility for the francophones and a symbol for the new collective identity during the “Quiet Revolution” (1960-1966)(2). In the context marked by the economic crisis of 2008 and the rise by a certain social exasperation. The threat to restrain our social programs has engendered a resistance movement of rare intensity. Like all social struggles of grand amplitude, the “Quebecois Spring” divides the society that has witnessed it flourish.
Joël-Denis Bellavance June 20, 2012
(OTTAWA) Twenty-four hours after adding its voice to that of the Charest government in denouncing United Nations critics with regard to the special law (78), the Harper government took grande measures to defend Quebec’s right to adopt the controversial law.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis made a motion to recognize the National Assembly’s right to adopt this law, adopted at lightning speed in hopes of ending the student conflict.
Mr. Paradis’ original proposal reads: “This House recognizes the right of the Quebec National Assembly, duly elected, to pass laws such as Law 78, within its jurisdiction.”
Conservative strategy was to force the New Democratic Party (NDP) to become muddled in the student conflict. This file is seen as a thorny issue for the party of Thomas Mulcair, as several of its MPs and activists come from the student community and some have publicly expressed their sympathy for the “red squares.”
Josée Legault May 31, 2012
Original French Text: http://voir.ca/chroniques/voix-publique/2012/05/30/et-maintenant-on-va-ou/
Many are asking this question. And now, where do we go? We do what with this unexpected and heaven-sent revival of public debate that emerged from the longest student strike in our history?
If it is too soon to say, an important clue is becoming apparent. We find it in the “street” taken for weeks, confusing all generations, by the hundreds of thousands of Quebeckers otherwise disengaged from public discourse for years.
The tuition hikes served as the starting point. The catalyst was the totality of the work of the Charest government and its law 78, the straw that broke the camel’s back.