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Partying with the protesters by Erjy Kolaskin

Don't let your friends steal the entire NYE spotlight from you.

Planning for New Years now made easier than planning for a wedding.

Let's get together and make peace and love.
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The student strike movement is a tough nut to crack. I'd like to make some funny or witty comment about it, but its jut not that easy.

Maybe it is time for a fully serious editorial opinion. What does about the ongoing student strikes in Quebec?

Well, we're not too sure ourselves (it's that complicated).

To give some background for our out-of-province readers, students at both the Cegep (pre-university) and University levels have been boycotting classes for over 10 weeks now. The students are on "strike" because the government of Quebec wants to increase university tuitions by about 1500$ over 5 years (tuitions are around 2500$ today).

The students say that the rise is too big, and I agree with that.

The government says that the current tuitions are too low, and I agree with that too.

Now you see why I am living in such a conundrum.

Both parties are simultaneously right and wrong, and that's OK. The problem is that they are not sitting and talking, they are not reaching out to each other in order to find a compromise solution.

When the provincial government says that our tuitions are the lowest in Canada, it doesn't say that our taxes are the highest in Canada, and that's why our tuitions are low.

When the students refuse all tuition increases, they are not understanding that in order to have a diploma that is worth something, they need to pay for it; nothing is free in life (right, except love obviously).

And there is one thing no one is daring to say: the biggest problem with education in Quebec is not the fees, but where these fees are going to. They are not going to the students, they are not going to the profs, they are going to feed the humongous administrative machine that has grown at universities. The money is going to the back-office, where it has the least impact on education possible. That's the sad reality of Quebec's education.

Now back to the more fun stuff. Until these two groups sit down and settle their differences, you, as an external visitor, will have the chance to:

  • Participate to massive protests
  • Maybe be lucky enough to do some good'ol rioting
  • I you're even luckier, you could get arrested, and spend a free nigh in jail

Yes, instead of marketing just our diverse food, great culture and lively nightlife, Montreal could also be branded as a “riot” destination: you've always dreamt about the defining explosions, choking smoke and violent police staff? Dream no more, Montreal is the destination for you!

Next time you hit a pub on Notre-Dame, just take a quick glance at the news, maybe there is an ongoing riot you could swing by to, on your way to the bars.

It's funny, yet sad at the same time.

All we're asking is: please, government and students, sit at the same table and figure this thing out.

We're tired of the Metro being slowed down while we're rushing to catch the happy-hour special at Reservoir.

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It's your turn now. So speak-up.

Don't just stand there staring blankly.

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