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For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Montreal, 20 September 2012:
Following the announcement of the cancelling of the tuition fee increase and the abrogation of the Law 12 (formerly Bill 78), the CLASSE (the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante / Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity) wishes to salute the courage and determination of all those who were active over the last few months. The organisation wishes, at the same time, to recall that this victory is not the end of the struggle, and that the student and popular mobilization must continue.
“If the Parti Québécois is passing today a series of measures which answer to our demands, it is because we have held to our principles, and have defended them with an approach that was combative, yet unifying,” said Camille Robert, co-spokesperson for the CLASSE. “In the future, our approach will win out over any regressive measure.” The CLASSE therefore notes that it remains opposed to any increase in tuition fees, including indexing to inflation. “Education is a public service, which must remain accessible; not a commodity, with a price that varies with the market,” said Jeanne Reynolds, co-spokesperson of the organisation.
Lise Ravary August 9, 2012
My column in this morning’s Journal de Montréal and Journal de Québec
Pauline Marois’ refusal to take part in a leaders’ debate in English has elicited strong reactions. It’s a reminder to our beloved Anglos that French is the only official language here and if they want to understand what’s going on all they have to do is to learn the language. And if they don’t like it, we’ll close McGill and English hospitals. Stop your whining, pampered minority.
The problem with “nous”
In refusing this debate, in continuing to insist on the fictitious anglicization of Quebec, the absolute necessity of Bill 101 in CEGEP, and the imposition of French on Aboriginals, Marois has made the “nous” [we/us] in her party’s slogan problematic: “C’est à nous choisir” (it’s up to us to choose).
Which nous are we talking about? Is it the nous of the Quebec nation, heirs to the glorious French Canadians and valorous settlers from France? Is it nous as citizens, including all those who know their postal codes by heart? Or is it the emotional nous that dwells in the hearts of sovereigntists? There are as many answers as political options.
Paul Journet August 2, 2012
(Laval) CLASSE has rejected the appeal for a truce, put forward by Léo Bureau-Blouin, the PQ candidate for Laval-des-Rapides. FEUQ and FECQ remain “neutral.” The three student associations say they are nevertheless interested by the PQ’s idea of a summit about higher education, though they have some reservations.
Léo Bureau-Blouin says he doesn’t want to wade into student politics, but nevertheless, he does have one wish: that students “imagine an electoral truce.”
CLASSE believes Bureau-Blouin should have kept quiet. CLASSE co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was brusque: “There’s always a sense of malaise when people from outside the movement weigh in on the student debate to give advice.”
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.”
Renart Léveillé July 31, 2012
Original French Text: http://leglobe.ca/blog/2012/07/le-dilemme-electoral/
The coming electoral campaign will be marked by dilemma more than any other. Torn between their hearts and their heads, voters will have to make a difficult choice between voting for their deep convictions and, for those who really want the PLQ [Liberal Party of Québec] out of the government, voting strategically.
The PQ [Parti québécois] has everything to gain from promoting strategic voting because, according to its surveys, its party is the most likely to defeat the liberals. Additionally, according to the section “Who should I vote for?” on the site liberaux.net, of the 47 ridings “where the race could be close” there are 21 where the PQ could be at the PLQ’s heels, while the CAQ finds itself with only 4.
Stéphane Laporte July 30, 2012
The student conflict became serious when the people of Quebec realized the student leaders were serious.
“What you’re offering is totally whack. It doesn’t make sense. If education was free, that would kick ass!” If that was how Léo, Martine and Gabriel expressed themselves at their press conferences, the Maple Spring would have lasted about as long as maple taffy on snow. But it wasn’t like that. The student leaders expressed themselves well, with conviction and brilliance. They were therefore in the forefront of the media scene, with panache, each with his or her own charismatic personality.
Gabriel brought the charm of a young revolutionary. Martine brought the reassurance of having been at the top of her class. And Léo brought the sincerity of a responsible young man. Of the three, it is Leo that speaks to the greatest number of people. This is not only because he has made sensible proposals, but because of what we can read in his eyes. The eyes always say more than the mouth. In Léo’s eyes, there is no hatred, no aggression, no scorn. There is nothing but goodwill, intelligence, goodness, and gentleness. In this confusing time of crisis, his face was the most reassuring. There were even nights when he could have been the premier’s father and told him to calm down a bit. Later on, he said just that.
Johanne Lapierre June 27, 2012
Original French Text: http://blogues.radio-canada.ca/surleweb/2012/06/27/publicite-plq-marois-retire/
The story has been widely circulated in the media and on the web: the Liberal party of Quebec (PLQ) used images taken from an amateur video in which Pauline Marois is seen participating in a casserole protest to make an advertisement, which is currently broadcast on television. After the first broadcast of this advertisement on the web, the author of the images, Guy Séguin, sent a legal demand to the PLQ, arguing that they were using his images without his authorization.
But still the Liberal party refuses to remove its advertisement from its site, it having nevertheless disappeared from several websites, including Facbeook, Youtube and Vimeo. All this because of the intervention of a firm called Police du Net.
Les Justiciers masqués June 27, 2012
There’s no question about it, of course the Liberals routinely do the best negative campaigning in electoral periods. Of course the most recent could leave you perplexed. Did one of those advertizing big-wigs seated around the table say to himself: “Anything put in slow motion is ridiculous… just take Pauline Marois improvising and jamming on a casserole and… bingo! She will seem thick!”
Hmm. Bad call there, boys; It could be said, rather, that in addition to having to use technical means (worthy of an MERSRQ student in the basement with Mommy and Daddy’s Mac) to demonize the leader or to make her seem an idiot on screen, you mock all the citizens who have attempted to use a playful and peaceful method to say that you are rotten. And laughing at voters, well, that rarely works!
Above all, of those who have made the effort to join these famous lively marches that have become a symbol of peaceful protest for Mr. and Mrs. Everyone (that didn’t bother, until very recently, the Willow of finances, Raymond Bachand… Talk amongst yourselves caucus!) in the face of the ridiculous decisions of old Charest, clinging to power, and his henchmen.
M.J. June 25, 2012
Patrick Bellerose June 20, 2012
The leader of the Parti Quebecois,Pauline Marois, has put her red square away for good.
She said so Wednesday morning on the show, “Puisqu’il faut se lever,” hosted by Paul Arcand on the radio at 98.5 FM.
“I will no longer wear the red square, but I will continue to support the student cause. I wore it in the National Assembly each day we say, to clearly show our support [for the students].”