All Posts Tagged With: "CLASSE"
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois gets 120 hours of community service
A prominent figure in Quebec’s student protest movement has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service for a contempt of court conviction following the rowdy events of the so-called Maple Spring.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who was the spokesman for the militant CLASSE organization during protests against proposed tuition increases, was punished for urging supporters to defy a court order.
He remained defiant Wednesday. Nadeau-Dubois promised to carry through with his plan to appeal the earlier contempt verdict that drew Wednesday’s sentence.
“It’s not over,” he said on his Twitter feed. “Remember that my sentence will only apply if the Court of Appeal upholds the original decision. Hearing on January 22.”
More Quebec protests, oil debate & democracy at U of T
1. It’s that time of the month again. Several thousand students marched in Montreal Thursday to demand free tuition, despite already winning frozen tuition from the Parti Quebecois government. The demonstration was supported by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, whose now-disbanded CLASSE wing was considered the most radical student group during the protests that shut down campuses earlier this year. Speaking of shutting down campuses, some students blocked certain entrances to the Université du Québec à Montréal on Thursday, reports the Montreal Gazette.
2. The University of Toronto Students’ Union’s annual general meeting drew a lot of angry voters who refused to approve the agenda at the beginning of Thursday’s meeting. While most AGMs are poorly attended, students waited in line for hours to get in to this one. Sam Greene, who heads of Trinity College, urged members to not approve the agenda unless the UTSU considers electoral reforms. Corey Scott, vice-president internal for UTSU, told The Varsity that the way students vote showed their “privilege.”
3. There is support among some of Canada’s premiers to ship Alberta oil to Eastern Canada. Two men whose provinces don’t have much oil themselves, Manitoba’s Greg Selinger and Nova Scotia’s Darrell Dexter, say they are interested, and Alberta’s Alison Redford and Quebec’s Pauline Marois agreed Thursday to examine the benefits and environmental effects of such a project.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois faces community service or prison
One of the most prominent figures in the Quebec student revolt that gained international attention and contributed to the defeat of Jean Charest’s government has been convicted of contempt of court.
Justice Jacques Denis wrote in his ruling handed down Thursday that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the charismatic spokesman for the hardline CLASSE group, had advocated anarchy.
The case stems from allegations that Nadeau-Dubois encouraged students to ignore a court injunction obtained by student Jean-Francois Morasse that allowed him to return to class at Laval University in Quebec City.
Nadeau-Dubois said on television on May 13 that it was legitimate for protesters to form picket lines to keep students who had obtained injunctions from getting to their classrooms.
Dodgeball record, PETA billboards & Western homecoming
1. Students from the University of California Irvine shattered the Guinness World Record for the largest game of dodgeball this week with 6,084 players. The University of Alberta, a four-time record-holder, lost its standing. It had 4,979 players on Feb. 3. I bet they’ll try to get it back.
2. Western University’s homecoming parade will be held on campus today, rather than downtown. It’s because London Police won’t provide extra officers pro bono. (They may be busy anyway.)
3. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will put up billboards near Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa schools this Thanksgiving holiday, reports The Canadian Press. The billboards will read: “Kids, if you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go vegan.”
Cancellation of hike isn’t enough for them
One Quebec student group says that with tuition hikes officially off the table, it will now champion the idea of free education.
The new Parti Quebecois government scrapped a controversial increase in post-secondary tuition fees this week and a hardline student group is now turning to free education as its long-term goal.
CLASSE, which speaks for 100,000 Quebec students, says free education is entirely achievable and used a march attended by several hundred people on Saturday to highlight the issue.
“Our struggle for accessibility to higher education is not yet over,” said Jeremie Bedard-Wien, a spokesman for CLASSE.
Free education is not a position that is shared by the province’s two other major student associations and with the proposed hike by the former Liberal government formally cancelled, Quebec has the lowest tuition in the country again.
PQ says it will index tuition to rate of inflation
Quebec student leaders are ready to face off against any plans the newly elected Parti Quebecois may have to increase tuition fees.
Students claimed a cautious victory after premier-designate Pauline Marois promised to reverse tuition increases for college and university students.
Less than 24 hours after the PQ won a minority in the Sept. 4 election, Marois announced she would undo the hikes introduced this year by the Liberal government of outgoing Premier Jean Charest.
For now, the near-daily protests in Montreal have come to a halt.
The downtown park where hundreds, and often thousands, of protesters gathered nightly for marches over the past few months has gone quiet. Classes have resumed at Quebec’s junior colleges and universities.
School restarts during final days of election campaign
Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press
As the Quebec election campaign enters its final week, the focus could switch back to the student protests that dominated headlines earlier this year.
The student issue has gotten such little attention so far that it was even ignored in the only televised debate featuring all four leaders.
It could be catapulted back to the foreground on Monday. That’s the day classes are resuming at many Quebec universities and there’s talk that students will again try to block classes.
Battle lines are drawn
Ahead of an anticipated election call in Quebec, one of the smaller political parties has proposed a middle ground solution to the tuition crisis.
The Liberal government’s plan to raise tuition by $1,778 over the next seven years led to a student uprising so strong it prompted an emergency law.
François Legault, leader of the centre-right Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), proposed a tuition increase of $200 annually over five years. The CAQ’s increase would be $1,000 total. Legault also said new funding would be conditional on universities better managing their funds.
The portrait painted by the polls
Republished from Inkless Wells on Macleans.ca.
To read today’s CROP—La Presse poll on the tuition protests in Quebec (main story here; detailed tables in a .pdf here, all in French) is to see evidence of a population applying consistent values in a difficult situation. It’s not at all surprising, but after hotheads have spent months trying to conscript the population to one faction or another in the dispute, it’s heartening.
(UPDATE: Some readers have noted that CROP used an online poll. There’s a good discussion of the methodology in the La Presse story, and some more general discussion here. I’ve seen no evidence that online polls, which are increasingly common, produce wildly different results from telephone polls, which have their own growing problems. I know of no new telephone poll that asked this many questions on the tuition dispute. I’ll let you know if one comes along.)
First big question: Do you support the government position (increasing tuition fees over seven years) or the students’ (a tuition freeze)? On the central policy question of the dispute, the government wins nearly two to one, with 64% supporting the government to 36% who support the students. This is true even in Montreal, where support for students is highest (60/40 in government’s favour); even among young adults (56/44 in the 18-34 age bracket); even among female respondents (63/37) and francophones (62/38).
But what about Law 78, the government’s latest enforcement tool? “Generally, do you favour or oppose this special law?” Here it’s much closer, 51% in favour and 49% opposed. There’s no gender gap, but 18-to-34-year-olds oppose the law 56/44; francophones oppose it 53/47.
Then an apparent paradox. Continue reading Meet the average Quebecer
Occupy, Anonymous and Michael Moore join students
Quebec student group CLASSE said Monday that it will continue to encourage protests against tuition hikes in the province—at least until students are forced back to classes in August.
They plan to defy Law 78, which passed in the National Assembly on Friday. The law allows for fines of $1,000 to $125,000 for individuals and groups who prevent students from attending classes. It also requires demonstration organizers to inform police in writing of their plans, and has thus been criticized as unconstitutional.
A large protest is planned for Tuesday afternoon in Montreal. It marks 100 days since the first students walked out of classes and joined the “grande grève illimitée” or “unlimited general strike.”
Busloads of protesters left Gatineau this morning to attend the Montreal rally, reports CBC.
Intense debate in Quebec’s National Assembly
Sweeping legislation to get students back to classes while restoring order to Montreal is being debated again today in the Quebec’s National Assembly after a marathon session last night.
If Bill 78 is made law, police could fine student groups, labour union officials, and individuals who prevent an enrolled student from attending classes at a university or CEGEP. Despite court injunctions, protesters have frequently blocked students from legally attending classes this year. On Wednesday, protesters stormed into UQAM where some stood on desks shouting “scabs.”
Demonstrations within 50 metres of a higher education institution would fall under the act.
The law would also require people organizing a demonstration of 50 or more to inform police eight hours in advance. They would also need to provide certain details of their plans.
Individuals who violate the law would be fined $1,000 to $5,000 per day. Student leaders would face fines of up to $35,000. Student and labour union employees could be charged up to $125,000.
Line Beauchamp says she could not reach a compromise
Line Beauchamp, Quebec’s often-vilified Liberal education minister and deputy premier, announced this afternoon that she has resigned her seat in Quebec’s National Assembly. Beauchamp spent many months addressing widespread opposition to a nearly $2,000 tuition rise that will be implemented in Quebec over the next several years. She said today that she could not reach a compromise with the student groups that have protested for 14 weeks, shutting down classes at many universities and colleges and regularly crippling movement in downtown Montreal. An agreement in principle reached last weekend was roundly rejected by local student associations. Premier Jean Charest said that he wanted Beauchamp to stay, but he will appoint someone this afternoon. Of the tuition rise, he said “we believe in this policy and this policy is going ahead.”
Alex Ballingall reports on the Quebec student movement
For more than 12 weeks, tens of thousands of Quebec students have taken to the streets in anger and frustration. They’ve hurled slogans from worn-out vocal cords, sung and danced and taken their clothes off. Protesters threw stones, smashed windows and clashed with riot police, all in an effort to halt the government’s proposal to increase tuition $1,625 over the next ﬁve to seven years.
Students began walking out on their classes in February. More than three months later, the dispute has become the longest student strike in Quebec history. The stubborn persistence of the strike has left many in the rest of Canada scratching their heads over why there’s been such uproar. Even in Quebec, the intensity of the protests has puzzled observers.
Patriquin: there’s a normalcy to all this Gong Show-iness
As we approach the three-month mark of the student strike/boycott/study-stoppage/what-have-you, relations between both sides could hardly be worse. An agreement in principle between the Charest government and the FEUQ, FECQ and CLASSE was roundly rejected by the students themselves, and we’ve already seen the fallout: the daily marches have for the most part resumed, much like the caustic rhetoric from both side as each accuses the other of bad faith. Yesterday, the entire Metro system was shut down after a coordinated smoke bomb attack.
Perversely, there’s a normalcy to all this Gong Show-iness, as though demonstrations, riots, street closures and metro shutdowns are part and parcel of the coming very long, very hot summer in la bête noire province. Just like periodic language tiffs. Just like rampant corruption in the construction industry. Just like eye-bleedingly horrendous Éric Lapointe videos. (I warned you.) Ayoye.
15 college and university associations vote “no”
The tentative deal between Quebec student groups, who have been protesting for 13 weeks, and the Charest government, which is planning to raise tuition by $1,778, is being rejected.
At least five CEGEPs held votes and rejected the deal on Monday, as did 10 university faculties at the University of Montreal, Laval University and the University of Quebec’s various campuses. The only student association that accepted the deal was the Cégep de Gaspé, reports CBC News.
“Is it the perfect deal? I think the answer is no. But is it the best deal we have yet? I think the answer is yes,” said Léo Bureau-Blouin, leader of Quebec’s federation of college students, FECQ.
A worried judge, a counteroffer and an eager opposition
Retired Superior Court judge John Gomery, famous for heading the commission into the federal sponsorship scandal, has told the Montreal Gazette that he’s concerned about the fact that court orders allowing students back to class are frequently being ignored in Quebec.
Approximately one-third of Quebec students are protesting a $1,625 tuition hike by boycotting classes. Many of them continue to block students who have a legal right to return to school.
This week, classes were cancelled at CEGEP de St. Laurent, Collège de Maisonneuve, CEGEP de St. Jean sur Richelieu, CEGEP de Sherbrooke and CEGEP de l’Outaouais, despite injunctions.
But compromise could be near
Student groups in Quebec were quick to reject Liberal Premier Jean Charest’s Friday offer of concessions. Still, there are new reasons to believe some of the groups opposed to the $1,625 tuition increase could be ready to compromise and end their ongoing “strike.”
On Friday, Premier Charest said he would spread the impending tuition increase over seven years instead of five, which would reduce the increase to $254 per year from $325. CLASSE, the province’s largest and most militant student group, said Saturday that it will not accept such a deal.
But FECQ and FEUQ, the other two large students groups, asked for mediation with the government. Education Minister Line Beauchamp said today that it’s too early for mediation—she wants students to vote on the offer made Friday first. Still, the fact that she didn’t entirely reject the idea of mediation seems to indicate progress.
Tuition protest leads to violence, vandalism
Banks, shops, cars and a police station had their windows shattered in Montreal Wednesday night following a protest against university tuition hikes in Quebec. Police say that 85 people were arrested and that three police officers suffered injuries.
The scene was chaotic. Students lobbed paint balls. Police used pepper-spray.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, head of the militant Quebec student group C.L.A.S.S.E., had warned earlier in the day that Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp’s refusal to meet with him was equivalent to “pouring oil on the fire,” reports Le Soleil.
Beauchamp had been willing to meet two other student groups, but refuses to speak with C.L.A.S.S.E. because they continue to advertise violent demonstrations online. C.L.A.S.S.E. responded by saying that their website is not centrally controlled.
Many student associations in Quebec have opted to boycott classes at various points over the past 73 days to protest the government’s planned tuition fee increase of $1,625 over five years.
Protesters not to blame: associate dean
Two hours into his three-hour economics exam on Monday, third-year McGill University student Nico Ahn’s concentration was broken by a blaring fire alarm. He and hundreds of other students (there was another big exam happening in the same gymnasium) were told to leave their belongings and tests behind.
In the chilly morning air outside, Ahn says he and other students theorized about the alarm. Did someone realize she was going to fail, slip out and pull the trigger? Or was it an anti-tuition protester who wants all students to join Quebec’s boycott of classes—whether they like it or not?