Sunday, May 27, 2012

The World Is Taking Crazy Pills (Pt.1)

Talks are set to resume between rioting students and the government....

Stop right there.

Rioting students who have, since February, clogged streets, bridges and businesses, smashed windows, disrupted classes, thrown smoke bombs and ruined businesses believe, because they are allowed to, that they are in a position of negotiation with the provincial government.

The average annual tuition for a university student in Quebec is $2, 519. That's two thousand, five hundred and nineteen dollars average cost of tuition for a year. The highest annual tuition is in the province of Ontario at $6,640. It should be noted before one continues that the province of Quebec receives transfer payments (federal government transference of cash for "needy" provinces or territories) of $17.4 billion for 2012-13, an increase of $5.3 billion. This is one of the largest transfer payments in the country. Much of the funds for these transfer payments come from the Alberta oilsands.What the Jean Charest government proposed was a marginal increase of $325 for the next five years:

Tuition fees will rise by $325 a year, over five years, beginning in fall 2012. The increase will bring the cost of full-time studies to $3,793 per year, for Quebec residents. Full-time students currently pay $2,168 a year.

Not good enough.

Quebec students rioted and will continue doing so. They have received financial backing from out-of-province unions:

Out-of-province money is flowing toward Quebec student activists amid signs their protest movement could persist into the summer.

Trade unions based outside Quebec have already confirmed depositing some $40,000 into the bank accounts of the province's largest student federations, cash that has helped pay for needs such as buses and food during demonstrations.

Unions in the rest of Canada, meanwhile, say their memberships will soon be asked to vote on new contributions for these student groups. Others are urging local union branches to consider making donations.

The cash injection from outside the province represents a fraction of the monetary support that has been sent to student groups. Quebec unions have given tens of thousands of dollars to the cause, including $35,000 just from the Confederation des syndicats nationaux.

Charest, the ever-jelly-spined, pushed through a new law demanding notice before rioting. I am not making this up. It's right here:

Bill 78 lays out regulations for demonstrations over 50 people, including giving eight hours’ notice for a protest itinerary. Penalties range between $7,000 and $35,000 for a student leader and between $25,000 and $125,000 for unions or student federations. The legislation also provides for fines for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution.

That's the best they can do, apparently. Demand rioters give notice before marching onto the streets and smashing windows.

What about section fifty-one of the Criminal Code?

Take section 51 of the Criminal Code. Here it is in full: “Everyone who does an act of violence in order to intimidate Parliament or the legislature of a province is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.” 

Why haven't the police arrested rioters en masse? I don't mean the window-dressing arrests of scraggy-looking "students". Why haven't they gone after those who promote, fund or carry out this crippling series of riots?

And now the government of Quebec will try again to communicate and negotiate with these "students":

Quebec's university student federation has confirmed negotiations between student leaders and the provincial government will resume Monday afternoon.

Talks between the student groups and the government broke off more than a month ago, sparking the nightly protests that have flooded Montreal streets for 33 days

There have been indications the government is ready to compromise on the tuition hike, Martine Desjardins, the president of the FEUQ, told CBC News on Sunday.

"I think the government is having a lot of pressure right now with all those demonstrations on a day-to-day basis going on," she said, "not only in Montreal anymore but in a lot of cities across the province. I think the government wants to make this stop. They tried with Bill 78, but unfortunately it’s not working."

Desjardins said all three of Quebec’s major student groups will be at the table.

Confirmation of the new round of negotations came on the same day as Quebec’s famed festival season officially kicked off. While organizers are trying to remain optimistic, some say they have significant concerns about the potential effect of the student protests on tourist visits. 

Yes. We wouldn't want to ruin the tourist season, now, would we?

My question is: what the hell?

If this had been any other country, this "strike" would have ended ages ago.

By the way, you can't go on strike if you're not actually working.

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