A few hundred people gathered across from McGill University campus at Premier Pauline Mariois’s Montreal office to protest against Bill 14 yesterday afternoon, as reported by The Gazette on Sunday.
The rally was organized by an organization called Put Back the Flag and a newly formed rights group known as Unity.
The Parti Quebecois’s proposed new language law is meant to tighten up Quebec’s French-language charter.
Among other things, the law would take away bilingual status of districts whose English-speaking population falls below 50 per cent and force CEGEPs to favour English-speaking applicants.
STORY WRITTEN BY: NATASHA TAGGART
The Quebec Student Roundtable will be attending the province’s summit on higher education at the end of the month.
The roundtable’s general secretary Paul-Émile Auger, told CBC News that the group will attend to share its views on the future of universities.
He also pointed out that the group doesn’t have a confrontational relationship with the government and they don’t plan on recreating last spring’s protests.
The umbrella group ASSE pulled out of the summit last week and have planned protests targeting the event and have been considering a strike.
The Quebec Student Roundtable represents about seventy thousand students from Laval, McGill and Sherbrooke universities.
On Thursday the English School Boards Association spoke out against recent cuts to the province’s education budget.
According to the CBC, over the last five years five hundred million dollars has been cut from French and English school board budgets.
The PQ’s education minister suggested school boards make up the difference by raising taxes or cutting administrative costs.
But president of the English School Boards Association David D’Aoust says school boards are already taxing as much as they’re allowed to at thirty-five cents per one hundred dollar property evaluation.
A referendum would have to be called in order to raise that maximum amount.
D’Aoust says school boards will be forced to make the cuts to student services and building maintenance.
STORY WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA TREMBLAY
The provincial government has brought back funding for environmental protection and health research.
But they're in hot water for slashing them off the annual budget in the first place.
CBC News is reporting that Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne reinstated $26.5 million dollars to research funding. That amount is good for one year.
However, the Liberals are not happy with the government's fickle move of taking out money and putting back in the coffers. Interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier says the P-Q has no vision on governing and does not think about the consequences.
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois defended herself by blaming the Liberals. They left a budget shortfall of more than $1.5 billion dollars.
That forced the provincial government to slash research funding in the first place. 63-million dollars was cut.
Researchers say the funding cuts could potentially force laboratories to close and research projects to go on hiatus.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault says that the funding should be brought back permanently. He thinks research is profitable for Quebec's economy.
Health Scientist Dr. Serge Rivest is a health scientist at the Quebec University Hospital Centre.
He welcomes the decision to bring back the funding.
He says the reinstatement is very good news for Quebec's hospital patients and the population in general.
STORY WRITTEN BY: SATURN DE LOS ANGELES
There is growing concern over the financial situation at McGill University raising speculation of potential job cuts, reports the Montreal Gazette.
McGill provost Anthony Masi warned union leaders in a meeting Wednesday that nothing was safe, including jobs.
At risk are people without job security.
Masi stated that the $124 million cut to universities in December following the cancelled tuition increases were a huge blow.
The government recently announced that universities must make at least 50 per cent of their imposed cuts in this fiscal year.
Failing to meet this would mean losing the last of this year’s installment.
McGill could lose a further $32 million if they fail to meet the government’s demands.
Many are worried about how the potential job cuts will affect students and learning.
Flickr Photo by: James D. Schwartz
STORY WRITTEN BY: AISHA SAMU
Frequent roadwork on certain Montreal streets have raised questions on the necessity and quality of the work and the contracts handed out for it.
A Montreal Gazette investigation found that the city gave contracts for work on Notre Dame Street East three times in eight years.
Estimated values of the work on Notre Dame East and Cote Des Neiges Road were released by the city before bidding began.
Details about the work were hidden from the council and the public.
The removal and pavement of asphalt on the high traffic roads occurred inside of one to six years.
Other major Canadian cities estimate that their roadwork on high traffic roads lasts between fifteen to twenty years.
Testimony at the Charbonneau Commission revealed that collusion existed among construction companies bidding for contracts.
The extensive findings detail who the city manager and executive committee awarded contracts to, the length of road worked, and contract values.
The city told the Gazette that it is looking into their findings.
Flickr Photo by: chrisjtse
STORY WRITTEN BY: AISHA SAMU
A new Quebec study was made public on Monday.
The study is called: Les élèves du primaire à risque de décrocher au secondaire: caractéristiques à 12 ans et prédicteurs à 7 ans
According to the Montreal Gazette, the study shows multiple problems that are beyond students’ control can get in the way of their success.
As reported by the study, poverty, family makeup and parenting practices all have a very strong impact a student’s academic performance.
Divorced or separated parents also hinder on how well the student will do in school.
Université de Montréal researchers, found they could tell by age 7 which children would be floundering by age 12
The study is divided into four categories of at-risk students. These include students who are reserved, indifferent, under-performing and maladjusted.
Researchers say that by age 12, about one in seven students was found to be at risk of dropping out.
Two general factors that make students more at risk of dropping out include high difficulties in learning and low self-esteem compared to classmates who were not struggling.
Researchers recommend that schools act quickly to identify at-risk children so that measures to help them could be put in place by Grade 1.
Flickr Photo by: Ryan Stanton
STORY WRITTEN BY: JENNA MONNEY-LUPERT
Minors under the age of 18 will need to find another way to get a tan.
According to CBC News, a law forbidding the sale of U.V. tanning services comes into effect on Monday.
The P.Q. said the law represents a preventative measure against potential skin diseases from artificial tanning. Dermatologists and other experts agree that U.V. tanning beds can lead to different skin cancers, such as Melanoma.
Salons who allow minors to use their services face fines between $500 and $15 000. Minors also face a maximum $100 fine for breaking the law.
60 000 Quebecers signed the petition in favour of regulating the effects caused by artificial U.V. beds.
Flickr Photo by: Travel Salem
It looks like free tuition will be on the agenda after all at the upcoming summit on higher education.
According to the Gazette, Premier Pauline Marois promised the P.Q. youth wing that a discussion on free tuition will take place at the higher education summit later this month.
Marois called the discussion of free tuition a "healthy debate" on this issue.
Meanwhile, Marois announced at the gathering of P.Q. delegates that sovereignty is the main goal of her party. She wants to put in place an action plan to revive voter interest in the P.Q.'s sovereignty push.
The Drummondville hotel where the gathering took place was under heavy security.
Flickr Photo by: Montreal metropole culturelle
The city of Montreal is faced another scene reminiscent of last spring’s student protests.
This time around, the protestors say they are against plans for new mining projects in northern Quebec, reports the Gazette.
On Saturday, the second day of protests against those plans, demonstrators rallied outside a job fair at the city’s convention centre.
Police arrested thirty-six people in relation to the protests.
Thirty-two of them will be charged with unlawful assembly, with nine of those being minors.
And four of them will be charged for assaulting an officer.
Police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière said at least one window was smashed and a flare gun was fired inside the building.
He said the police tolerate protests, but not criminal acts like that.
On Friday, officials declared the get-together illegal as soon as it started because there was no protest route given beforehand.
Lafrenière said no one has been seriously injured.