students-quebec

Does the “government in waiting” support the protests in Quebec?

Thomas Mulcair was elected leader of the New Democrats just a few short weeks ago and so far, he has had a two-fold strategy: to appear closer to the mainstream centre than most would have characterized the NDP in the past, and to hold NDP gains in Quebec by speaking to that province’s issues often to the expense of growth for his party in the rest of Canada.

For Mulcair, support of the radical student movement in Quebec is definitely not in his strategic interests. The majority of Quebecers do not support the nightly protests in Montreal and few believe the protesters are primarily motivated by access to education. The student protest phenomenon in Quebec is neither representative of mainstream values nor of Quebec as a people.

Therefore, cracks in his caucus showing support for student demos in Quebec should cause the NDP leader concern. It is not yet clear if he has roped in his caucus and staff or if he will continue to let them show their true colours.

For example, here is NDP MP Dany Morin’s recent Facebook profile picture:

A story about Morin’s support was written in Le Quotidien,

The MP for Chicoutimi-Le Fjord Dany Morin supports students from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) in their fight against rising tuition fees. On a personal level, however, while the New Democratic Party (NDP) for now refuses to interfere in the matter.

 

Dany Morin participated in the campaign “Me and my red square” of the Movement of General Student Associations UQAC (MAGE-UQAC), this week. He has been photographed with red square emblem adopted by the student movement in its fight against rising tuition fees announced by the Government of Quebec.

What about NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault?

A press release on his website states,

The member for Sherbrooke Pierre-Luc Dusseault gives his support to the student movement of November 10 and will attend the event in Montreal this afternoon.

 

“It is essential to maintain and improve access to postsecondary education as students request today,” said Dusseault, who was studying political science at the University of Sherbrooke before his election on May 2nd, “What we try for Quebec has served for decades as a model for other educational systems elsewhere in Canada,” said the member for Sherbrooke.

Here’s another release from Dusseault after rioting occurs in conjunction with student demos in Quebec,

I wish to express my support to the will of students and students who demonstrate today in Sherbrooke to improve their financial situation and accessibility to university. As MP for Sherbrooke, I can assure you that the New Democratic Party supports your legitimate claims and requires the federal government to act, in accordance with the jurisdiction of the Quebec government to mitigate the increase tuition.

Here was NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice’s Facebook profile picture for a while,

NDP MP Anne Minh Thu Quach wrote on her Facebook,

During the demonstration outside the Valleyfield College this morning. I spoke out in solidarity for the right to accessible education, respect for law strike and the respect for democracy.


With students at the College this morning! Beautiful energy!

Anne Minh Thu Quach: Despite the cold, several students campaigned passionately that morning for the right to education available! Congratulations to all! They will stand all morning at the College this week! Encourage them if you can! Bring your drums and make them dance to keep warm! ;)

 

Anne Minh Quach: Thu @ Rosh: Thanks for the praise. I act according to my values ​​and my ideals. Several NDP MPs also support students in their approach. Moreover, we have a deputy spokesman in post-secondary education in Quebec. This is Matthew Dube. It also advocates the creation of a federal transfer to provinces and territories that would target post-secondary education in order to provide affordable access to students. @ Louis Charles: That, in compliance with federal and provincial powers. Much like it is already healthy.

 

Anne Minh Thu Quach: This is a matter of political choice and social choice. I believe that there is a more just, equitable and socially rewarding for supporting our education system in making it a simple product consumption.

And what about Thomas Mulcair, how is he handling this issue in his province in balance with being a national leader? And how is our national media covering the issue and how the NDP caucus is reacting to it?

The CBC, um, reports,

May 23, 2012

 

Earlier this spring, the Ottawa media was at pains to find any federal MP interested in saying much about either the policies or the politics driving the mass student protests across Quebec.

 

Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, whose party represents the majority of Quebec’s federal seats (including several held by student-aged MPs), brushed off questions, saying the student tuition battle was “first and foremost a matter of provincial jurisdiction.”

 

(With yesterday’s intervention — and now funding, too — from labour groups outside Quebec, it will be interesting to watch the NDP generally and Mulcair specifically walk this fine line on the dispute, especially with the leader’s own personal history as a former Charest cabinet minister.)

Comments

comments

  • chaos111_99

    “It also advocates the creation of a federal transfer to provinces and territories that would target post-secondary education in order to provide affordable access to students.”
    Translation:  Quebecers once again have our hand out and expect ROC to pony up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frances-Auger/525832148 Frances Auger

    This why Mulcair was off to Alberta -make news any place but home.  Why weigh in on the social/cutural/entitilement whinging of the “have not province, known as Quebec”.  Scared stiff to stand up to the “students” – betcha these anarchists (those that bothered to cast a vote) voted BLOC and NDP.  Hard to reprimand those that support you.  Mulcair’s preferred constituency.  Cheers.

  • http://twitter.com/goingprorogue Steve Harperstan

    If this is true they will have my vote.

  • http://twitter.com/WhseGrl Krysta Meekins

    In the Yukon, there was a “casseroles” protest last week with people marching and banging pots and pans in support of the Quebec riots.  Prominently maching with them was the Yukon NDP Chief of Staff, Ryan Stewart, amongst other well-known NDPers:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2012/05/31/north-whitehorse-casserole-march.html?cmp=rss

    Protesting has become an NDP sport up here, it would seem..

  • Anonymous

    Your translator is apparently broken.

    That sentence merely advocates for the goal of low-cost post-secondary education in all of Canada. I think all of the NDP could get behind that.

  • Anonymous

    Therefore, cracks in his caucus showing support for student demos in
    Quebec should cause the NDP leader concern. It is not yet clear if he
    has roped in his caucus and staff or if he will continue to let them
    show their true colours.

    Once again, the right is walking around with a wedge and a hammer, looking for a place to drive it in, and if they can’t find a crack, by golly they’ll create one.

    Not every party thinks their members must be centrally-controlled marionettes.It would hardly be out of line for the federal NDP to be supportive of the goal of low-cost post-secondary education in all of Canada. (I have trouble imagining the sort of people who wouldn’t want this as a national goal, but here we are.) And I would naturally expect Quebec NDP MPs to express concern or support for issues in their ridings, particularly when they don’t contradict their national platform and objectives.

    Of course by implying that the Quebec protests are simply pinkos, separatistes and rabble, the right is hoping to create a place to apply that wedge. But the widening participation in the protests, and the support from outside of Quebec has been described by some as indicative of a more general cynicism and dissatisfaction with the current slate of parties and the electoral process. Any party who ignores this broad discontent does so at their own peril.

  • saynotosocilaism

    yes the NDP and leftist parasites in general are always in favor of having someone else pay for things

  • DougM

    (I have trouble imagining the sort of people who wouldn’t want
    this as a national goal, but here we are.)

    Greek are you?  I’ll bet you also want increased Pharmacare and Healthcare as well, expect a Government supplied Pension at 65 and good infrastructure in your community.     Roughly 87% of post secondary education is already paid for in Quebec – but you want 100%, right?  And for Trade colleges too, didn’t you say that somewhere just a few days ago on this very board?   They need a friggin heavy lift crane to get you off the public teat wouldn’t they?

  • Anonymous

     …you’re right.

    Our great experiment has failed. What were we thinking? Let’s end single payer healthcare, public education, EI, CPP, OAS,  public transit, close all parks and sell ‘em off, disband the police and fire depts, privatize ambulances. there is no such thing as a public good.

    Doug has decreed that We Ask Too Much, and since he’s not poor, He Must Be Right.

  • Doulos1

    Great, the goal of low-cost post-secondary education has been achieved already.  It is already heavily subsidized by the working class tax payers.