These are my opinions.
I wrote this article in 2012 – I think my hunch was right but my target was wrong. What do you think?
Movement leaders egging Quebec students on to fight or die over a $325. per year tuition hike makes no sense, unless one looks at it in the context of the bigger picture of rising environmental opposition to the massive resource development of Plan Nord. [2016 – or Energy East]
What I thought in 2012
Everyone in Canada is scratching their heads over the now 13-week, sometimes-violent student protest in Quebec that has been able to mobilize 100,000-plus people over a nominal raise in tuition, while student tuition in Quebec is the lowest of anywhere in the country.
It just doesn’t make sense; or does it?
To me, it has little to do with tuition. I see it as a “test” of long-term mobilization against resource development.
Students are easily lead. Plan Nord is to Quebec what the oil sands is to Alberta; a multi- billion dollar northern resource development. But Plan Nord is not off the ground yet. In order to stop it, massive social unrest must be created. What better place to foment civil unrest than at university?
You have a body of young people who are prone to wild swings in ideology. They are easily led by their Facebook. Few of them have ever had to work for a living. They have time, synergy and tuition increases gave them a “cause.”
The tuition “cause” now includes social justice … and environment
I just heard one of the student protest leaders, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of Quebec’s CLASSE, on CBC’s “The Current.” His talk drifted from student tuition protests to social justice and people being “concerned about resource development….” The penny dropped for me. It was about the time he said “…people are willing to be hurt or even die for…” — for what? $325 a year tuition hike? You’re egging people on to die over that?
No. This is boot camp for the big fight(s) that are coming soon.
Unelected, unaccountable social justice/eco-groups have boots on the ground
Once again I feel the riptide waves of a bevy of eco and social justice groups in all this. For instance, Tides Canada has been active in Quebec for some time and is managing the Canadian Boreal Forest Secretariat. This is the green plan to turn most of Canada into a park. I know you weren’t consulted about it in advance. Like most things of this nature, unelected, unaccountable environmental NGO’s have conveniently made these decisions for you.
Too late to stop the oil sands; instead they’ll stop Plan Nord in its tracks
Had such eco-groups been active in Alberta 30 years ago, no oil sands resource development would ever have been permitted there. Without the oil sands today, Canada’s economy would be non-existent in this global recession. We’d be en route to Third World status.
So to me it is clear that the anarchist elements of the eco/social justice movement are gearing up to fight Plan Nord through student riots in Quebec. They will ratchet up their power through these test street battles over tuition.
Taking a leaf from the book of terror
Terrorists use these kinds of tests all the time. They test the fortitude of their target. They do a dry run to test the attention span and comprehension levels of the proposed victims.
How long did it take the system to respond? What of public opinion? Was the issue treated seriously? How easy was it to drive support for the accused? What did the false alarm cost the system?
So it is in Quebec. The student riots are now being collectively attached to big issues like “social justice” and “resource development.”
Resource development has always driven civilization’s economic growth.
Never mind that resource development has historically been the driver for all human activity. It is essential for our survival.
Cavemen sought sources of obsidian for strong, sharp stone tools for more successful hunting; modern day geologists and mining firms seek out certain forms of rock in the middle of nowhere, and in the process build communities alongside it.
$35 Million police tab – even an elephant will die from a thousand cuts
Someone out there wants Canada to weaken and fail. They want to stop the oil sands; too late. So they will try to stop Plan Nord. And the thing is they don’t have to be successful in one hit. The Mayor of Montreal asked the provincial government of Quebec for $35 million in March for additional police costs. That money probably would have covered all those tuition fees for a year.
And no amount of pandering to the students will resolve the issue — because they don’t want resolution! The invisible hands behind it all want a platform.
Be worried, Quebec and Canada. Stand on guard for thee.
NOW it is 2016. Energy East has been flatly rejected by the Mayors of Montreal and Laval. And I thought the battle would be against Plan Nord! Of course…it still may be.
But wait, you say. Nothing has happened to make the Mayors say ‘no.’
In my mind’s eye – and this is simply my imagination, I can see a short meeting between a few of these eco-radicals who point out “Look what happened last time. That was just over tuition!” Yep. I’m sure the mayors would get the point.
Lots of foreign funding has gone to ENGOs in Quebec. One is GCCA which claims to have 450 ENGOs around the world in 70 countries aligned with it in efforts to stop fossil fuel use. There are several more ENGOs in Quebec.
To me it looks like a trade war disguised as a climate crisis with ENGOs as the proxies while in the background someone’s pushing renewables – like wind and solar.
That’s what I see. How about you?
PS – Why is the Quebec provincial logo with a live link to provincial services on their web?