Postscript: Tuition protesters increasingly disconnected from reality
by Barry Wilson, Executive Producer, CTV Montreal, OPINION
Published Friday, April 13, 2012 10:55AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 6, 2012 5:04PM EDT
MONTREAL- Any modicum of sympathy from the public that the students may have enjoyed has melted away quicker than this past winter's snow and ice
This is a protest. I refuse to use the word "strike" because it is not one, as there has been no withdrawal of services or negotiation for a collective agreement and no employer has suffered.
The only ones who will really feel the pain are the students themselves.
This protest has turned ugly and nasty and it seems that every group with a grievance is using the student protest to sow unrest, as they are so fond of doing.
For many of these kids, it's not a question of protesting tuition hikes.
They want free university for all. Maybe we should pay them to go to school.
And their self-appointed leaders seem to think of themselves as latter day Che Gueverras struggling against the tyranny of a democratically-elected government.
This is not a social crisis.
What are they learning in university?
Enough is enough.
Enough vandalism, enough intimidation, enough threatening the lives of ministers, enough wearing masks.
Students who actually want to go to class are treated like outcasts. I applaud the ones who show the courage to attend class and those who go to court to guarantee their rights.
And now, many of the students have the audacity to ask for special consideration and a longer year so they don't lose their semesters.
Here's the thing: most students are not on strike.
Those who are and continue to be deserve whatever they get.
You make choices.
The students have made their point.
The government opened the door by improving the student aid program.
It can help those in real need. But it will not go any further.
The majority of Quebecers are with the government on this.
Premier Charest finally has an issue on which he can possibly call an election.
The students want the government to negotiate.
Negotiate with whom? The three different student associations can't agree with each other.
And who gave these groups mandates to negotiate in the first place?
If the government sits down with anyone, maybe it should be the parents who pay most of the freight.
Let's get some perspective here.
These freedom fighters should look around the world to see how good they have it.
We don't live in a country where young people are enslaved in forced labour.
We don't live in a country where young women face the horror of genital mutilation.
We don't live in a country where there is no education. No chance to escape a lifetime of poverty and misery.
We don't live in a country when people are dying of starvation.
Our students have it pretty good. And you know, indeed sometimes youth is wasted on the young.