I used to agree about this generation feeling “entitled” but my opinion has changed. Every generation believed that the younger ones were spoiled (yes, including us and our parents). We should be proud that the students are taking a stand for their beliefs whether you agree or not. I don’t agree how they are handling it. I believe in passive-resistance and peaceful protest (e.g. Vietnam, India’s independence, US segregation, etc). If they were conducting silent marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins while the police/law makers were acting stupid they would gain full pubic support.
The big problem is that the protest on tuition is masking (or unveiling) the true message of corruption, wasteful, and unaccountable government spending while asking the public be more austere. Let’s analyze how government (in Quebec and Canada) has acted in the past 5 years:
- How about the $400M government grant to build a white elephant arena for Quebec City?
- What about $35B for fighter jets (originally quoted at $10B)? Are we a war society? Is there a threat to our territory?
- What about over-taxation without fair representation (why do we still pay over 15% sales tax on everything)?
- Why the Old Age Security is raised to 67 (additional tax burden…by the way, this affects us directly)?
- Why were BILLIONS spent on a G-Summit without accountability where other countries that host it spend a fraction of that amount?
- What about the recent tax breaks and fast tracking of natural resource projects out west? Don’t need university educated students to work in the oil patch.
- What about the soon to be cash grab in the private-public partnerships for infrastructure? Toll bridges and highways without providing a no-fee option (e.g. the new Champlain Bridge replacement).
- (Local) What about the millions in losses in the Bixi project and the mismanagement of financial resources and accountability that the tax payer subsidizes?
- What about the billions from the mentioned summit that went directly to one MP for his constituency under the guise of public and border security?
- What about the increasing fuel taxes for public transit and infrastructure (where did/does all the money we pay in car registrations, drivers permits, lottery, 85% tax already on fuel, fuel tax control with the Mayor of Montreal, etc)?
- What about the increasing school taxes (86% increase in my case in 3 years, avg of 80 to 100% for many people) and schools are still under funded?
- What about the supplemental health tax we pay ($250 additional tax slapped on your income tax…nice way to hide it) and I still wait for hours in a hospital to see a doctor that barely made it because all of the good ones (and nurses) have fled for other pastures that value them more?
- By the way, did I also mention that we still pay tax for health care plus the $250 mentioned in the prior point?
- Shall I go on????
The tuition increase is troublesome since no one will know if the money will actually go to education. You should be more than angry with the Charest (Harper or just fill in your government leader name here) and their contempt of the public and our needs…you should also be protesting considering you have kids that will be affected by these increases (it is only the beginning…once the dam breaks there is no way to stop it). Your children will be in facing a world in fiscal disarray and chaos if we don’t speak up now.
I wish I was making this up but these are the facts and the public has been apathetic about any of the issues. Think about it!