Wednesday, April 18, 2012

L. Ian Macdonald on Quebec's student radicals

The Quebec model trains students to want more and not pay for it. That's how the Quebec government works. Indeed as Danielle Smith said at her speech to the RLQ last year Quebec get billions from Alberta and isn't even grateful. Quebec is massively in debt. Equalization was never meant for have not provinces to have better programs than richer provinces. The parti québécois is using the students to try and get power.They have said little to denounce the violence. We need to get rid of or slash equalization so that provinces learn to live within their means. L.Ian understands. What is it about Quebec university students that, from one cohort to the next, they don’t know how good they have it? Nearly 175,000 students are currently boycotting classes, for which they pay only about 10 per cent of the cost, in protest against the Charest government’s intention to increase undergraduate tuition fees for Quebec students by $325 a year over the next five years. In taking to the streets – invading métro stations, disrupting traffic and even sacking the office of Education Minister Line Beauchamp – students have crossed the line from expressing their own freedom of speech and assembly to disrupting the lives of the very citizens and taxpayers who pay their bills. Beauchamp, for one, isn’t for the turning. “Don’t expect me to give in to intimidation,” she said in a weekend interview. Good, the government needs to show some steel. This is not Quebec’s Arab Spring; it’s only a step removed from anarchy. And here’s the thing: even when the tuition increases are fully implemented, for a total increase of $1,625 over the five-year period, Quebec will in all likelihood still have the lowest tuition rates in the country. Only Newfoundland and Labrador is even close to Quebec’s rock-bottom tuition fees. The current average undergrad fee in Quebec of $2,519 is less than half the national average of $5,366, according to Statistics Canada. In Ontario, the average tuition is $6,640. In oil-rich Alberta, tuition is $5,662, in Saskatchewan it’s $5,601, while in British Columbia it’s $4,852. This is a sore point in Western Canada. The three Western provinces pay the lion’s share of equalization, $14 billion a year to six recipient provinces, of which Quebec received $8.5 billion in fiscal 2011, before declining to $7.8 billion in fiscal 2012, for an average of $8.1 billion over the last two Also see my friend Marc Olivier Fortin, of the Prince Arthur Herald, on SunTv discussing the students.


Anonymous said...

students should have to pay 100% of the cost of university education. if that were the case we would have fewer stupid people getting useless degrees at taxpayers expense. you can be damn sure that 2500 dollars will not cover the cost. useless children yapping about getting something for nothing.

Anonymous said...

The votes for the student 'strike' (boycott)remind me of a referendum vote as a lobster trap. Once the students start voting not to go to classes (one day, one week at a time), they feel they must continue by 'solidarity' to continue to support the province-wide protest.

Out-of-province and foreign students are even more penalized by this protest. My son is in residence and, besides having to pay for more time in residence as the year is extended, is having his summer job put in jeopardy.

The whole thing is an exercise in making society used to this kind of chaos and intimidation and in educating students how to act in the future as union members or ordinary citizens.

I Support Lord Black