Anciens, actuels et futurs universitaires se mobilisent – Une semaine décisive s’amorce

Le nombre d’étudiant en grève devra atteindre 270 000 d’ici jeudi

«Des dizaines de milliers de personnes opposées à la hausse des droits de scolarité ont fait résonner leur voix, hier après-midi, dans les rues de Montréal, Québec, Sherbrooke et Alma. Plusieurs «anciens, actuels et futurs étudiants universitaires» ont répondu à l’appel de la Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) en prenant part à l’une de ses quatre manifestations familiales.

«C’est déjà un mouvement historique, peu importent les résultats», a fait remarquer le porte-parole de la CLASSE, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, avant de prendre la tête du défilé montréalais s’allongeant par moments sur plus d’un kilomètre et demi. Quelque 30 000 personnes ont défilé du parc Lafontaine à l’immeuble abritant les bureaux de la ministre de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, Line Beauchamp. Ils ont notamment marché au rythme des slogans «On veut étudier, on ne veut pas s’endetter!» et «Sabotage libéral, grève générale!» sur les rues Cherrier puis Saint-Denis, Sainte-Catherine et Fullum.

À deux jours du dépôt à l’Assemblée nationale du budget 2012-2013 par le ministre des Finances, Raymond Bachand, ils ont réitéré leur opposition à la hausse des droits de scolarité de 325 dollars par année durant cinq ans»

Malgré toutes ses manifestations, la décision du gouvernement reste inébranlable. La ministre L ine Beauchamp insiste que le Gouvernement n’est pas en négociation et qu’il y a une décision qui a été prise.

Le gouvernement insiste également que la session d’hiver 2012 ne sera pas annulée malgré toutes les grèves.

Taken from :

Montréal veut resserrer les règlements des manifs

««Dégoûté» par la violence qui a marqué la manifestation contre la brutalité policière la semaine dernière, excédé par les affrontements récents entre étudiants et policiers, le maire Gérald Tremblay prend le taureau par les cornes: il veut revoir toute la réglementation encadrant les manifestations sur le domaine public.»

Il a en autre confié ce mandat à la commission de la sécurité publique. Cette commission devra entre autre examiner toute les avenues possible pour pouvoir empêcher les débordements , les actes de destructions et le vandalisme dans les manifestations.

Cela va se faire dans les plus bref délai car il y a présentement à Montréal plusieurs manifestations quasi quotidiennent , entres autres, les manifestations étudiantes.

Taken from :

Muslim community calls PQ alarmist over halal meat

«Quebec’s Muslim community is perplexed after the Parti Québécois called into question the slaughtering of animals for halal meat.

The PQ claims the traditional religious ritual used to kill the animals flies in the face of Quebec values because it is inhumane, and could even violate public-health standards.»

«Halal, which in Arabic means “permissible” or “lawful,” is similar to Jewish Kosher tradition. The religiously sanctioned slaughter is legal and regulated under provincial laws and federal food-inspection standards.

Members of the Muslim community, however, say the PQ has mischaracterized the issue and is being unduly alarmist. The only difference between halal meat and the meat sold for general consumption, they say, is that the animals are first blessed before being slaughtered – in the same manner that other animals are slaughtered in the province.»

However Mr. Simard has a different opinion, he believes consumers need to be informed. He claims that halal meat is being sold in supermarkets and it is not being properly labelled as such.

He thinks halah meat slaugthering has now become a common praticse. He also believes that consumers should be informed because if they knew what halal meat entails, they wouldn’t purchase it.

The PQ would like to know precisely how many companies produce halal meat and how many companies sell it.

Mr. Ghalen, a representative of the muslim community, believes this is total disinformation and he believes all the facts that are mentionned are exagerated. He believes the controversy is based on false assumptions and the only difference between halal meat and non halal meat is that muslims say a prayer before slaughtering the animal.

Mr. Simard believes consumers should be informed of that eat and he claims halal meat process is cruelty to animals !!

Taken from :

More than 100 arrested at Montreal protest

«More than 100 people were arrested and two were injured after a protest by Montreal students turned ugly on Thursday evening, with police firing tear gas into the crowd.

About 2,000 protesters headed north through the city, then west along Sherbrooke Street, but no police were visible along the route, although they were positioned on adjacent streets and in the city’s subway system.

 When about six officers did appear, a few protesters started throwing rocks at them. At one intersection, police fired off two loud stun grenades, sending a panic through the crowd. Protesters ran in all directions, but riot police formed a line, and banging on their shields with their batons, marched forward, shoving demonstrators north.»

There were a few testimonials saying that they have never been in a demonstration where police threw explosives into the crowd.
There were more than a 100 arrests , 2 injuries and many vandalized stores in the downtown area.
Some believe that the police is operating a strategy of fear. A law student from UQAM testified that she feels threatened by the actions of the police.
Some testified that police officers were actually being violent , a young woman was holding a bag of ice to her right eye after she had been whacked by a police officer.
Most arrests were made infront of a downtown library
This protest was done against police brutality but it seems like it was not effective.

Montreal divided on location of safe-injection sites

”With its glass walls and breezily painted street front, Cactus Montréal looks more like a community gym than what it is – a needle exchange that stands at the heart of a dispute over the future of Montreal’s supervised drug-injection plans.”

”When the Supreme Court opened the door last fall to safe-injection clinics in Canada, health officials in Montreal expected to move quickly and follow the lead of Vancouver’s Insite. Canada’s second-largest city seemed like a natural location for such a service, with its high number of intravenous drug users and reputation for tolerant social attitudes”

Health officials want to set up 3 sites where people could and get injected. Theses sites were already providing needles to drug users. The sites are located downtown.

But the Mayor Gérald Tremblay does not seem happy with this decision and this initiative. He thinks the neighborhood where they want to install such injection places is already infected with alot of problems such as homelessness, mental problems and drug-dealing.

Although the neighborhood has it’s share of problems, the mayor is also receiving pressure from the city hall and people who want to build condos in that area. They do not want the area to be more dangerous than it is and the city is trying to attract families to buy the condos.

Some of the residents of that area are worried that this will even attract drug users from out of town and from the U.S.

The mayor is also concerned for Montreal’s image and Quebec’s reputation for being considered progressive.

There are many divergent interests that are at stake.

«Montreal will take its plans for approval to Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc, who has insisted that the proposal’s prime criteria remains “social acceptability.” An aide said in an interview that the minister wants to see all the players agree on a scheme.»

Taken from :

McGill University administration bans occupations of ‘restricted areas’

McGill University administration bans occupations of ‘restricted areas’

”The McGill University administration announced a “provisional protocol regarding demonstrations, protests, and occupations” within hours after it had ended a five-day protest occupation on its downtown campus by calling in municipal police.

A group of students had been occupying an office in the James Administration Building beginning about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday.

That protest ended peacefully when the last nine students – down from a group that had started as 23 – left just before 9 a.m. Sunday, under the supervision of Montreal police.

According to Michael Di Grappa, McGill’s vice-principal for administration and finance, “security personnel read the occupiers a formal eviction notice in the presence of police.” ”

Students were disapointed with such policies and consider it to be against freedom of speech, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which are all fundamental rights protected by the Canadian constitution.  McGill aslso defended itself by saying that such rights were being going to be protected but that occupation of private offices, spaces, classrooms, laboratories  or any other restricted area will not be tolerated.
Again , there is a debate between the right to the protection of one’s property and the right to freedom of speech and expression one’s miscontent.

Top court puts limits on claims of infringement of religious rights

”The Supreme Court of Canada has tightened the clamps on future claims that laws or educational programs infringe on an individual’s right to freedom of religion and conscience.”

In 2008, the Quebec government introduced a program that replaced religion classes with a curriculum covering all major faiths that are found in Quebec such as Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and aboriginal beliefs.

A couple had asked that their son be taken out of the mandatory ethics and religious program because it would make him confused about the Roman Catholic belief system he was being taught at home.

”The mother of the Grade 4 pupil said on Friday that the mixed messages of the Quebec program and have caused her son to question his faith at an age where he should be listening to parental instruction.”

She claims that : ”There is a time and place for everything, and this exposure should come later. Unless, of course, the entire point of the exercise is to sow doubt,” said the woman, who can be identified only as S.L. under a court order. “I want to assure you, I’m for openness, but I refuse to treat my faith as something freakish. Just how far do we have to go to call ourselves welcoming and tolerant?” ”

On the other hand Madame Justice Marie Deschamps, disagreed with the parents and claims that it is a healthy program that exposes childrend to vide variety of belief systems and it teaches them tolerance.

She believes that it exposes children to a reality of Canadian society that it is a multicultural society. She thinks children should be exposed to the different  belief systems of  Canadian citizens.

The court finally ruled that the parents could not challenge a program without furnishing tangible proof that it offends their belief system. The court decided to keep the program as it is and not to exempt the child from the course.

 Taken from :

Niqab case goes to Canada’s top court

Last december a woman wanted to testify in court while wearing a niqab (face cover that shows only the eyes). She is accusing 2 males relatives of sexual assault, she is the complainant in the case and made the request to wear her niqad in court.

The defendants claim that they should her face for purposes of cross examination.

“A preliminary inquiry judge ordered that she remove her niqab before testifying, but an Ontario Superior Court judge later quashed that order.

The Ontario Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the Superior Court’s order, set up a legal test for determining if the woman can wear her niqab, and sent the matter back to the preliminary hearing judge.

The woman appealed that decision to the country’s top court in Ottawa, contending her right to wear the niqab is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She wants the Supreme Court to send the matter back to the preliminary inquiry with an order that she be allowed to wear the niqab at the hearing and any trial that might follow.”

Her lawyer believes that institutions such as courts should take people as they are. She claims that there are many ways to asses demeanour such as  one’s voice and body language. Some say that banning the niqab in court could lead to fewer muslim women reporting on crime.

Taken from :

New Canada Niqab Rules Ban Muslim Face Coverings During Citizenship Ceremonies

The conservative government has announced in december that it will prohibit muslim women from covering their faces during citizenship ceremonies.

The muslim canadian congress has met this news with an applause.

The immigration minister Jason Kenney has declared that the face veil goes against Canadian indentity and Canadian values to openness and equality. He believes that allowing women to cover their faces during theses ceremonies will prevent them from integrating into canadian society.

The Canadian Islamic Congress has seen this as an attack on religious freedom. They have said :

”“Those women have the same rights as other Canadian citizens. The laws apply to us equally,” Whida Valiante, the Congress’ national president told HuffPost. “If the Minister thinks that these women are not living by the very heart of our values, and just by taking the niqab off they will join the heart of our values, they already have. They went through the process of learning and making sure that they passed the (citizenship) exams. If their heart and soul was not there, why would they do all that?” ”

Mr. Kenney said that he has received complaints from citizenship judges saying thay they could not tell if a women was truly taking the oath.

Mr. Kenney goes as far as saying that the face veil is not a religious obligation and it should not be encouraged in canadian society.

This article demonstrates the different tensions between the integration and accomodation of religious groups and the religious freedom. Does religious freedom has limits ? Is an absolute right ? Is the governement entitled to put such limits according to the Canadian constitution ?

Does are questions that canadian citizens should ask themselves.

Take from :

Mugesera deportation delayed

Léon Mugesera has been attempting to avoid deportation from Canada for the last 15 years. He is accused of incinting to the genocide was in Rwanda in 1994. He allegdly made a speech incinting the majority Hutus to kill the minority Tutsis. His speech apparently caused 800 000 Tutsis to be killed.

« His deportation went trhough several appeals until 2005, when the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled Mugesera was not admissible to Canada because there are reasonable grounds to believe he committed a crime against humanity »

Mugesera arrived in Canada in 1993 with his wife and children. He suffered from critical health conditions and was hospitalized in Quebec city.

Last wednesday the federal court gave a last sentence and asked Mugesera to leave the country by Thursday. Mugesera got overwhelmed with stress and had to go to the hospital. The UN had to intervene as well as the Quebec superior court.

The Quebec superior Court and UN called to attention that there is a risk of torture and abuse if Mugesera is deported to Rwanda. However, the Canadian governmennt does not by that argument , for if this was the case, then no deportations would be possible.

Taken from : http : //

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