Kiss and make-up already
Negotiations between student leaders and the Charest government regarding the tuition crisis resume in Quebec City as student strike heads into 16th week. This is the first negotiation Education Minister Michelle Courchesne has participated after she was sworn in on May 14. Premier Jean Charest was also present at the negotiating table for the first time during the ongoing tuition crisis.
“We are near an agreement,” Léo Bureau-Blouin told the Montreal Gazette on the second day of negotiations. Bureau-Blouin is the president of the Fédération étudiante collègiale du Québec and has been an active participant in the discussions throughout the strike. The government was expected to release details of a new offer Tuesday afternoon, but no statements have been made as of yet.
Exercising the right to remain silent
On Monday night, approximately 500 lawyers, notaries and other legal professionals marched silently from the Montreal Courthouse to Place Émilie-Gamelin in peaceful defiance of Bill 78. The emergency legislation aims to crack down on student protests.
Many donned their traditional court dress and marched for nearly two hours. Hundreds of Quebec lawyers have volunteered to challenge the constitutionality of Bill 78 that has been set for the Quebec Superior Court to hear this Friday.
The backlash to legislation has been largely vocal thus far as citizens clang their pots and pans in protest through the downtown core at 8 p.m. every night.
Bad boys, bad boys..
On Monday night, 84 arrests were made outside the building where negotiations are taking place. According to the National Post, among those arrested was Philippe Lapointe, one of the chief negotiators for the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicate étudiante. Although largely a peaceful protest, people were found in violation of Quebec’s Highway Code for blocking traffic.
The next day, CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois pleaded not guilty to a charge of contempt-of-court. The charges follow the comments made on air by Nadeau-Dubois criticizing a court injunction filed by Université de Laval student Jean-François Morasse.
Nadeau-Dubois, a well-known student leader, could face a fine of up to $50,000 and a year in prison if found guilty. The trial is set for September 27 and 28.