Our Times 3

Richard Fidler

  • Quebec nationalist leader critiques PQ’s anti-immigrant ‘charter of exclusion’

    Among the issues championed by the Parti québécois was that of strengthening Quebecois identity, focused around the PQ demand for a charte de laïcité or Charter of Secularism that would effectively exclude women wearing the Muslim hijab or scarf from employment in government or public services. PQ leader Pauline Marois drove the point home by parachuting a notorious Islamophobe as the party’s candidate in the riding of Trois-Rivières. Djemila Benhabib was defeated, but not before this provocative action had been widely publicized.

  • Major victory for Quebec students, environmental activists

    Their demonstrations have shaken Quebec in recent months, and yesterday students and environmentalists won major victories.

  • Quebec’s election – an initial balance sheet

    The results of the September 4 general election in Quebec produce mixed reactions among supporters of all the major parties.

  • Why the silence on Ottawa’s role in the Quebec student strike?

    The following article draws attention to an important issue that has been largely overlooked in the Quebec student strike.

    The author, Pierre Graveline, is a well-known journalist, editor and publisher, and is currently the executive director of the Fondation Lionel-Groulx. A former official with the Quebec teachers union, he is the author of a book on the history of education and teacher unionism in Quebec.

    I have translated this article from the Quebec on-line newspaper L’aut’journal.

  • Charest declares war on Quebec’s students

    “It’s a declaration of war on the student movement,” said Martine Desjardins, leader of the FEUQ. “They’ve just told the young people that everything they have done, everything they have created as a social movement for 14 weeks will now be criminal.”

  • Quebec government bludgeons student strikers with emergency law

    Quebec premier Jean Charest announced May 16 that he will introduce emergency legislation to end the militant student strike, now in its 14th week, that has shut down college and university campuses across the province. The students are protesting the Liberal government’s 75% increase in university tuition fees, now slated to take place over the next seven years.

  • Defiant Quebec students reject shabby government offer

    Quebec college and university students are now in the 13th week of their militant province-wide strike while voting by overwhelming majorities to reject a government offer that met none of their key demands.

  • Government ends negotiations with Quebec’s striking students

    On Wednesday, April 25, Education minister Line Beauchamp abruptly ended the negotiations with the student leaders to which she had reluctantly agreed two days earlier — before they had even got to the key issue of the $1625 fee hike. She refused, once again, to negotiate with the CLASSE, the largest student union, which represents about half of the 180,000 students now on strike in Quebec’s post-secondary colleges and universities. That effectively ended the negotiations, since the other two student unions refused to break their united front with the CLASSE and fall for the government’s blatant attempt to divide them.

  • Massive student upsurge fuels major debates in Quebec society

    A crowd estimated at 250,000 people or more wound its way through Montréal April 22 in Quebec’s largest ever Earth Day march. They raised many demands: an end to tar sands and shale gas development, opposition to the Quebec government’s Plan Nord mining expansion, support for radical measures to protect ecosystems, and other causes. And many wore the red felt square symbolizing support to the province’s students fighting the Liberal government’s 75 percent increase in post-secondary education fees over the next five years. The Earth Day march was the largest mobilization to date in a mounting wave of citizen protest throughout the province.

  • Overshadowing the Cartagena Summit: the militarization of Central America

    Stephen Harper and Barack Obama will be attending the Sixth Summit of the Americas this weekend in Cartagena, Colombia. Expected to attend will be 33 heads of government representing all the members of the Organization of American States (OAS) except Ecuador, whose President Rafael Correa is courageously abstaining primarily on the ground that the summit excludes revolutionary Cuba, still denied OAS membership by Washington.

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