Quebec student leaders to establish national anti-Harper movement

Quebec student leaders to establish national anti-Harper movement

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:35PM
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Student leaders in Canada’s largest and French-speaking province of Quebec are set to start a nationwide movement to fight against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Canada-wide movement is organized by former spokesperson for Quebec student group CLASSE Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, CLASSE representative Cloe Zawadzki-Turcotte and 28-year-old political activist and analyst Ethan Cox, The Toronto Sun newspaper reported.

The trio has accordingly embarked on a whistle-stop national speaking tour in London on September 29, and will give presentations in five other cities — Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and Victoria — before it ends in Vancouver on October 5.

Cox said the goal of the pan-Canada tour is to educate Canadians how to build social movements similar to Quebec’s student movement.

“And yes, we desperately need to get rid of Stephen Harper,” he added.

The Quebec student protests were a series of ongoing student demonstrations led by student unions like the Federation etudiante universitaire du Quebec, against the Canadian government’s decision to raise university tuition from 2,168 to 3,793 dollars between 2012 and 2017.

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest called an election in August to deal with the social unrest that had affected the province.

Charest lost the September 4 election and stepped down as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party following the poll defeat. The winning center-left Parti Quebecois provincial political party cancelled the tuition hike.

Cox said the critical element of the success of Quebec’s student protests was that each student “felt a sense of ownership” in the movement.

He added the tour is to “give people a concrete example of a successful social movement and inspire people to fight for what is important to them.

The Harper government is dismantling the country’s social welfare state, Cox said, “and that needs to be resisted.”

“Democracy cannot be restricted solely to electoral politics. Democracy is a lot more than voting every four years,” he said.

MP/JR/AZ

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