For far too many weeks, the City of Montreal and its inhabitants have been held hostage by a group of students who claim to be protesting an insignificant increase in the cost of tuition.
This will bring the costs to 1/3 of the tuition fees in Ontario, pennies on the dollar compared to International Students, and then, we won’t even begin to mention the cost of a University education in the United States.
The students have moved to violence, disrupted classes in numerous Cegeps and Universities, vandalized the business of innocent store owners, broken windows, burned cars, thrown molotov cocktails, rocks, bricks, and just about everything imaginable at the police while taunting them and calling them names. Now they have amended their propaganda to include corporate and government greed, and have blockaded companies such as the National Bank, Power Corporation, destroyed the windows of hundreds of business owners, including Apple, which, would be funny normally, as probably 90% of the students are walking around with iPhones, but I digress.
Last week I attended a conference at the Conference Center on St Antoine Street in Old Montreal, and lost a great amount of time trying to get through the students and police, only to be totally inconvenienced again as I parked several blocks away to be sure my car was not vandalized, and had to walk to and from the Center from there, while paying outrageous parking costs for the privilege.
There are some interesting facts which must be discussed:
- The school drop-out rate for French males in Quebec is the highest in Canada
- It is primarily French Canadian students marching in this protest, one does NOT see any immigrants in this protest whatsoever…..
- the large majority of students do NOT support these actions, and are extremely angry that they are losing their semester.
- most of the English students are quietly attending their classes when their schools are not barricaded, and are trying to write their exams, graduate and find great jobs.
- when one photographs the ‘students’ one sees an abundance of very expensive designer clothes, shoes, purses, iPhones, coffees, etc.
- a large number of these ‘protesters’ are not students at all, and are over 40 years old waving Quebec flags and chanting for separation.
- when I was in a restaurant last week, several of the leaders of the protest were at the next table having a costly lunch with imported beer. None of their meals cost less than $40.
- these supposedly ‘poor’ put upon students are out in bars and restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights on rue St Denis, rue St Laurent, drinking and eating posh meals.
- the increases are pennies a day
- the same people who are having their daily life interrupted and the businesses who are being destroyed are the same people who would potentially have offered jobs to these students. Who could possible want to hire them now?
The reality is that the PQ government and the Unions are really behind this movement, and the students are ignorant pawns being played in a huge ugly political power play.
Two extremely wealthy PQ leaders were out marching and screaming for the Liberal leader to resign. The two of them have a hidden agenda and
both live extremely lavish lifestyles at the expense of the Quebec populace. Chauffeur driven limousines, elegant massive homes decorated with fine antiques, fine dining on expense accounts, huge Federal and Provincial pension plans, extensive insurance coverage, and more…..
None of these arrogant lying individuals who are using the students to play politics could care less for the futures of these students, the financial costs to the city and to private citizens, or the incredible damage to our reputation internationally. Our tourism accounts for a large part of our budget and this summer is going to be disastrous. Hotels and restaurants are already complaining of a 20% drop and are expecting it to continue to plummet.
Yes, the same institutions who could have been hiring all these students in summer jobs!! gone.
There are ‘do not travel’ notices on international travel bulletin boards which is giving Montreal an international ‘black eye’.
Lastly, in their arrogant disgraceful game, they have not told these little political puppets they are manipulating that if they are arrested and convicted, they will have a criminal record and their futures are extremely limited.They will not be allowed to travel to the United States, they will not be considered for many Government positions, they will not be hired in Financial Institutions, as criminals are not hired.
Today, companies are increasingly insisting on in-depth and extremely rigorous background checks, most of this to ascertain if the candidate
has a criminal record. They use agencies in the United States, and the information is shared internationally.
A good friend had the following suggestion regarding the situation:
Mr Charest, you are being far too easy on the students and the antagonists…….you should tell them to report to school by next Monday. (choose the date) if you do not report, you will not be able to register for next year, or your student fees will be $10,000 per year, or you can not register in any Quebec school. The Government will NOT be threatened by terrorists.
The Friday Ottawa Sun had a matrix which compared Quebec and Ontario school fees. It was interesting to note that Quebec student fees were 30% (approximately $2,200) of the Ontario student fees.
Further to that, a friend has been doing tax returns for many students and noted that after all their deductions from the Quebec and Federal Governments, they are actually only paying around $500 in tuition, and many of them are living on loans or with their parents.
Time to stop the madness and wake up. This is a political play. The students are puppets in a disgraceful protest.