Wednesday, September 05, 2012

WTF Quebec?

Quebec's kind of been taking over the Canadian newscape lately. There's some craziness going on there.

The student protests over tuition hikes have been interesting enough to watch (and they're starting to affect another school year). I'm not 100% sure how I feel about those protests. Because students do pay too much for school, but even with the hikes Quebec still has the lowest tuition rates in the country. Then I consider this fact, a leftover tidbit from when I did fundraising for my alma mater: tuition only covers 50% of the cost of education. The rest is paid for by a combination of taxpayer support, university endowment funds (for those that have them) and parental/alumni donations. My understanding is that about thirty years ago, student tuition only covered about 30% of the education costs and was even further subsidized. It`s really a question about how we value education and how accessible we want it to be for our future generations of young adults. I think the Quebec protesters have some valid points, but I think it`s getting buried based on the fact that they pay less than anyone else in the country. (And all the antics. So many antics.)

Then there`s the fact that the Parti Quebecois just won the provincial election. Are we really back to separatism again??? They had a referendum on the subject when I was younger and voted to stay ... can't we be done with that? I kind of take issue with the fact that certain factions in Quebec use the threat of separating in order to bully the rest of the country's political systems to get what they want. I want a decision to be made, one way or the other, and the issue dropped. If they're staying, fine, stay, but don't use the threat to continue to try and get more and more out of the national government.

But the really oh wow moment: someone tried to assassinate the leader of the Parti Quebecois while she was doing her victory speech. How crazy is that??? I have a lot more to read on the incident, but it just boggles my mind that someone truly thinks the best way to further their political desires is to take someone's life. It's nuts.

At least it keeps my morning newsfeed interesting!

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