Quebec's provincial government passed an emergency law Friday that sets restrictions on demonstrations and shuts some universities as the government seeks to end three months of demonstrations against tuition hikes.
MONTREAL — The Quebec government will propose small annual increases to university tuition during its ongoing education summit, an event called to help calm last year’s student crisis.
The governing Parti Quebecois is expected to make the announcement Monday at the two-day Montreal conference, a government source said.
Tuition increases were at the heart of the 2012 student unrest, which saw Montreal consumed by massive, nightly demonstrations. It was sparked by the former Liberal government’s plan to hike tuition fees by 77% over five years.
Marc-Antoine Dumas would show up for each of his history classes after his student association voted to strike in February 2012, and every time he would be turned away by picketing students. After a month of frustration, he gave up and dropped out.
In a decision that is being called the first of its kind in Quebec, a judge has ordered the Université Laval history students’ association that co-ordinated the blockades to reimburse Mr. Dumas $1,220 in lost tuition and gas money.
MONTREAL — Quebec Liberals are getting set to choose their new leader at a convention today in Montreal.
Former premier Jean Charest stepped down as Liberal leader last September after losing his seat when his government was toppled by the Parti Quebecois in the provincial election.
Three former cabinet ministers are vying to succeed him — Philippe Couillard, Raymond Bachand and Pierre Moreau.
Couillard, the presumed front-runner, was health minister between 2003 and 2008.
With threats of legal action by the unions hanging in the air, the National Assembly Thursday adopted the government’s controversial municipal pension reform law.
Bill 3 sailed into law following a vote in the legislature.
The government and Coalition Avenir Québec teamed up to pass the bill while the Parti Québécois caucus, true to its pledge, voted against. Also voting against were the three Québec solidaire MNAs. The final vote was 85 for, 28 against.
The battle won’t stop with the adoption of this unfair legislation
MONTREAL — People who thought they’d seen the last of the nighttime protests in Montreal streets against tuition fee increases heard the familiar drone of police helicopters over the city core Tuesday night as the noctural gnashing of teeth by students over the cost of their education was renewed, boiling over into a battle with police.
In a tongue-in-cheek bid to answer whether striking students should “return to class,” Quebec comedian Guy Nantel took a camera to an anti-austerity demonstration and captured protesters failing basic questions about math, politics and the definition of “austerity.”
“Austerity is when everything inflates,” answered one student, calling it a synonym for “inflation.”
Another answered, “I don’t know, I’ll be honest, I couldn’t give you a definition in only a few words.”
“You don’t know what austerity is, but you’re protesting against it?” returned Nantel.
OTTAWA – A new change to the Criminal Code that makes it illegal to wear a mask at a protest or riot is likely to be challenged in the courts as limiting freedom of expression, experts say.
The clause makes it a crime for a person to attend an unlawful protest “while wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse.” Supporters say it is one more tool to help the police maintain order, while civil liberties advocates say it tramples constitutional freedoms.
The US House of Representative just approved (by a vote of 269 to 151) the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) funding moar warmongery for fiscal year 2016. However, the vote came short of a veto-proof majority and since the administration opposes the defense policy bill - for its alleged budgeting "gimmicks," as well as its provisions for arming Ukrainian forces - we suspect President Obama is preparing to unleash the veto pen. As The Military Times reports,
A woman active in Quebec’s 2012 student protects has been found guilty of criminal harassment for posting a social media photo of graffiti depicting Montreal police Commander Ian Lafrenière with a bullet hole in his forehead.
Jennifer Pawluck, 22, did not create the graffiti, but posted a picture to Instagram in March 2013 along with the hashtags “un flic, une balle” (one cop, one bullet) and “All Cops Are Bastards.”