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Quebec Legislature Cracks Down on Student Protests

Matthew Frank Kot for local2 sault ste. marie
May 19th, 2012 at 11:23am | Last Updated May 22nd, 2012 at 12:44pm

The Quebec National Assembly today passed a measure that would fine student demonstrators up to $3,000. Bill 78 also bans protests from being held within 50 meters within the grounds of a university or college.

For the past several weeks, over 100,000 students opposing Premier Jean Charest's proposal to increase post-secondary tuition fees have taken to the streets of Montreal and even went as far as preventing other students from entering educational institutions. This past week, the city of four million has been shaken by riots, as well as a smoke bomb in the Metro subway system.

Public support for the Liberal government in the province has increased due to this emergency law, Bill 78. Residents have become frustrated with student protests and riots disturbing their daily lives.

However, the bill's biggest critic, Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois, suggested that the first thing she would do if she won an expected election this year is to "abolish the student tuition fee hikes." She also urged Charest to personally engage in negotiations with students. "Why is the Premier attacking the youth of Quebec?" she asked.


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