Most Canadians take for granted the divide between Quebec
and “the rest of Canada.” It’s kind of like relatives you know are out there
but don’t have much to do with, and hardly ever see.
I reckon it’s about time for a family reunion. There’s
something very special and amazing going on in Quebec, and the rest of Canada
should really be paying attention.
Since February 13, as many as 193,000 students have been on
strike in Quebec in protest of the government’s planned tuition increases.
Outside of Quebec, much is being made of the fact that
students there pay lower tuition than any other province, as if this is good
reason to increase the fees.
Wrong. It’s precisely because Quebecers have fought against
tuition increases that their fees are so low. Tuition is higher in the rest of
Canada because we haven’t fought nearly as hard.
What’s become known---even internationally---as
le printemps érable, or Maple Spring, is the biggest thing to come out of Quebec
since last year’s Orange Wave.
It’s conceivably much bigger; the expression of a worldwide and historic
movement of students and working people, as Gatineau activist Jessica
Squires explains in this edition of X-Ray.
We reprint a Manifesto
for the Maple Spring, written by a group
of students calling themselves the “indignés
of Quebec, aware that we are living in an historic moment.”
In almost-breaking news, progressive
economist David Macdonald exposes Canada’s
secret bank bailouts.
Also in this issue, Liam Roberts ruminates on the prospects
for a provincial NDP in Quebec,
while David McLaren tallies the cost of F-35s
and the Tory truth deficit.
Enjoy, and as always, let me know what you think.
David Julian Wightman
Publisher slash editor
davidjwightman [at] xraymagazine [dot] ca