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Police arrest hundreds during student protests in Quebec

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The real crime here is that protests are no longer allowed. People take to the street when their voices are no longer heard so to shut down protests because the message is not appreciated. The local government has taken unprecedented and extreme actions that are counter to what anyone should expect from a Western democracy.

In the case of Quebec, the most conservative government in decades simply doesn't like the protest message so they're attempting to fine anyone who protests. The local government has nobody to blame but themselves for the growing student protests. Disagree, fine, but this is too much.
On May 18, Quebec’s legislative assembly, under the authority of the provincial premier, Jean Charest, passed a draconian law in a move to break the 15-week-long student strike. Bill 78, adopted last week, is an attack on Quebecers’ freedom of speech, association and assembly. Mr. Charest has refused to use the traditional means of mediation in a representative democracy, leading to even more polarization. His administration, one of the most right-wing governments Quebec has had in 40 years, now wants to shut down opposition.

The bill threatens to impose steep fines of 25,000 to 125,000 Canadian dollars against student associations and unions — which derive their financing from tuition fees — in a direct move to break the movement. For example, student associations will be found guilty if they do not stop their members from protesting within university and college grounds.

During a street demonstration, the organization that plans the protest will be penalized if individual protesters stray from the police-approved route or exceed the time limit imposed by authorities. Student associations and unions are also liable for any damage caused by a third party during a demonstration.
One Canadian reader complained (in a way that only a polite Canadian could complain, including a "thank you" at the end) that the protesting students represent a "culture of entitlement" though I don't see it that way at all. It doesn't matter what the cost of tuition used to be, an 80% increase is an 80% increase. Taxing poor students is a lousy way to behave by the political class. During my own college days, I watched my tuition double over a four year period and it wasn't pleasant.

After so many years of seeing Canada as our friendly neighbors who were more moderate than us, it's sad to see the country in this state. When you won't allow protests and insist on punishing those who voice their opinions, you've lost the plot. Please bring back the rational Canada that I used to know.

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