The Québec media has been buzzing over the announcement made by Léo Bureau-Blouin that he will run for the Parti Québécois during the next election.This will push the former FECQ president into a new kind of politics. Will he be able to continue the fight against the tuition fee hike in this forum? I loathe people who get involved in student politics as a springboard into partisan political life.
Universities are often called ivory towers -- elite institutions open only to those who can afford the cost. When Lloyd Axworthy took over as President of the University of Winnipeg in 2004, he resolved to throw open the tower doors to disadvantaged families in the surrounding communities, many of them aboriginal. He developed the Opportunity Fund, which turns post-secondary education from pipe dream to real possibility for aboriginal and low income students.
How ironic that the most extensive demonstrations we have seen to date in North America have concerned not unemployment, global warming, or the notorious one per cent, but the tuition that Quebec students have to pay for the benefits of a college education. Now two professors at the University of Montreal have likened Quebec to Putin's Russia.
The Canadian Grand Prix is a point of pride for this country, an event watched by millions from around the world. Little wonder then why the Quebec protestors, in dire need of a landmark event after their 100th day anniversary, would threaten to disrupt the highly anticipated race set to begin this weekend.
The distorted media coverage in the anglophone press of the Quebec student protest movement is perplexing. Some media pundits in the anglophone press not only fail to accurately present what is happening, but also use the occasion to express public disdain of Quebec social programs and of much of what Quebec society arguably stands for.
Around two hundred thousand Quebec students were out in the streets of Montreal protesting tuition hikes Thursday. Their claims are unfounded, or at the very least misguided -- but one thing I must concede is how this movement is getting Quebeckers out of their bubble of indifference relating to public affairs.
With the release of he much-anticipated budget report of Don Drummond tomorrow, students will find themselves among nurses, the unemployed, teachers, early childcare educators, social workers, and millions of other Ontarians who will try to make it politically impossible for McGuinty to implement any of the cuts or regressive policy changes that Drummond recommends.
To claim the Ontario Liberal government has broken its election promise to students is to not tell the truth. At least the Canadian Federation of Students is done with intimidating, profane protests; now they're just spreading misinformation, and once again students -- the ones they're meant to represent -- are losing.