Quebec Protest Vote

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They've been talking through the night in Quebec's National Assembly debating legislation to crack down on student protestors, opposed to tuition hikes. We hear the latest on just what's unfolding for students and the economy and hear why some are giving Premier Jean Charest's move to shut the protests down a failing grade.


Today's guest host was Erica Johnson.

Part One of The Current

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It's Friday, May 18th.

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This is The Current.

Quebec Protest Vote - CBC's Quebec National Assembly reporter

For months, Quebec students have been protesting proposed tuition hikes ... blocking classrooms, marching in the streets and making as much noise as possible.

And now, Premier Jean Charest has said 'enough is enough.' Last night, his government introduced emergency legislation to crack down on the demonstrators, once and for all. The plan starts with closing down the protest hotspots.

The Charest government's emergency legislation also contains provisions to ensure that once affected classes do resume - students who want to study can get to them. Members of Quebec's National Assembly debated the plan late into the night and they are still at it.

Tim Duboyce is the CBC's Quebec National Assembly reporter. He was in Quebec City.

We asked him about how this move by Premier Charest is playing with the public. Well, CBC Radio Noon in Montreal went directly to the public yesterday, hosting a call-in to get listener thoughts on what's happening in Quebec City right now. We aired a clip with what some of those listeners had to say.

Quebec Protest Vote - Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ)

Our next guest has been following this legislation closely. Leo Bureau-Blouin is the president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) - one of three main student groups involved in the protests. And we reached him in Quebec City.

Quebec Protest Vote - Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce

A recent poll by Leger Marketing shows that as the protests continue, support for the tuition hikes goes up. Former Premier Lucien Bouchard and a number of other prominent Quebeckers wrote an open letter in support of the tuition hikes and urged the people of the province to support the government.

Francoise Bertrand is one of the signatories of that open letter. She is the President and CEO of the Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce. We reached her in Montreal this morning.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien, Kathleen Goldhar and Montreal Network Producer, Susan McKenzie.


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