Student debt: la greve ne s’apaise pas au Quebec

Negotiations with the provincial government of Quebec over rise in tuition fell apart as the student enters week 17 and popular support grows.

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Although a hike in tuition spaced out over seven years is picked up as the primary cause of the growing strike movement, little in the media outside Quebec talk of the real issue: the billowing student debt.

Tuition hides a problem lurking like a viper in the breast of education in Quebec, in Canada, and especially in the US where it has gone beyond the us$1 trillion mark.

Canada much like the US and Europe sees fit to dump the burden of education and preparing the next generations on matters that belong to the state.

As a result, considering the US as an example, jobs go wanting because despite the growing numbers of ‘functionally [il]literature high school and college graduates, employers do not want to ‘train’ basically unskilled workers; at the same time, the state is fixated in rewarding the private sector with tax breaks to create jobs.

Not exactly a catch 22, but close enough to stir opposition.

In Quebec’s case, the provincial government went a giant step further: prime minister Chesnet & co. muzzled the freedom of speech, assembly, and tightly restricted common rights which would heavily fine as well as throw students and supporters into gaol for protesting peacefully.

It is no secret that in North America, the state resolves conflict through bullying and brute force. Yet, the present economic conditions are such–and Canada is not a basket case in this matter–attack on the poorer classes are preparing the way for a social explosion which will shake the pillars of the state.

The strike or greve in Quebec is only a foretaste. The authorities run the risk by clamping down on protesters and supporters of cutting their own throats of legitimacy.

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