Les Québecers are les smarter than les Ontarians pour more reasons than one

What is it about our counterparts in Québec? I mean the students. Do they have sticks shoved up their asses? Do they have uncomfortable mattresses? Do their parents feed them tainted cheese, because that�s all they eat anyway?

What’s wrong with them?

Why are the students in the province of Québec mobilizing en masse to protest the province’s cutback of $103 million in grants/bursaries? Why are these students on strike when Québecers pay the lowest tuition in the country, at an average of $1,800? For fuck’s sake, that’s only 10% of my student debt (about $18,000) — and I’m only in my second year.

Ontario’s students pay some of the highest tuition fees in the country. We’re assailed by fat-cat former-premiers who advocate outrageous modes of student loans (income-contingent loan repayment plans � try saying that ten times fast) that everybody first thinks are rosy-cheeky-muah-
love-you-Bob-Rae-have-my-children-thank-you-be-my-university’s-
president — but are more aptly described as life-long debt sentences (for the not-so-rich) that are going to bring in the bling for the banking industry.

If we good Ontarians can apply Vaseline to our asses despite getting butt-raped by $5,000 averages in tuition fees — why the hell can’t those goddamn Frenchies shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down?

Ou, en Francais, s’il te-plait: pourquoi can’t those goddamn Frenchies shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down?

What’s wrong with them?

Why don’t they acquiesce to the privatization and bastardization of social services and campuses like we do? Why do they naively continue to believe that mobilization of the masses with mass support from various sectors among the masses will make a massive difference to the classes that hold power in this state of affairs that some call a democracy, but Malcolm X called a disguised hypocrisy?

Maybe — because it will?

Let’s not be such dimwits as to believe that the Liberals of Québec — led by a man who is balding and was at one point a loser leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives (Jean Charest) — will give in completely to the demands of the students. But even if their struggle does not completely bring about the change they want to see, are they not correct to stand up for their rights? For what they believe in?

What are we, the students of Ontario, going to tell our children when they go to university and face thousands of dollars in tuition fees, massive tuition debts, professors sponsored by ExxonMobil and classrooms sponsored by ING Direct? Hold on a second — what the fuck are we, the students of Ontario, telling ourselves?

That we refuse to mobilize and therefore silently and painfully acquiesce because we believe that action does not bring about change anyway? Are we telling ourselves that, yes, we will go down without a fight — because it’s not that bad — right?

It’s not that bad?

Bitches, I’m in my second year of university, I have $18,000 in debt and I don’t even own a credit card! I make excuses not to go out places, most of my clothes are gifts, my parents try to prevent me from buying gifts for my niece on Eids and her birthday, I sometimes find myself without enough money to buy textbooks, and I shudder before I buy a $2.00 hotdog from those hotdog stands outside Sidney Smith — well, I would shudder even if I were loaded … that last point was moot…. I’ll move on now. And there are plenty of fellow students who have it much worse than I can even begin to fathom.

The fact is that it is bad now. And if it�s not that bad now it can only get worse. Unless we stand up and fight for our rights now, we face telling our children that “we didn’t start the fire, son, no we didn”t ignite it but we, uh, tried to, uh, stop listening to Billy Joel … actually we got burned and burnt out like half-ass pussies rather than stopping, dropping and rolling and then helping others put out the fire.”

There’s nothing wrong with those goddamn Frenchies (except maybe escargots, what the fuck is up with that?). The question we ought to ask is why is our shit not hitting the fan?

There’s something wrong with us when the only reason our voices are not heard is because we don’t speak out. There’s something wrong when we’re more concerned with the hockey lockout than Rae’s report, when we pay more attention to the latest happenings on the Apprentice or American Idol than we do to corporate irresponsibility and American imperialism, when we loudly debate pseudo-reality television but shy away from and feel uncomfortable discussing public policy.

I’m going to tell my children that I stood up and fought for my rights and theirs and those of others, even when I felt like no one stood by me, that even when I lost faith in humanity I did not drop the struggle. I’ll know that at least once in my life I decided to join those “radical” activists and skipped a couple of classes to do the least I could — join a protest or something.

I will not, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. be disappointed by the fervour of those who were opposed to me, but by the silence and inaction of those who should have supported me.

Even if I lose the struggle, and I think I will, I will rest secure in the knowledge that I never acquiesced.

Et tu?

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6 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Goldi said,

    March 15, 2005 @ 11:14 am

    ya!

    continuing on this theme, i got an an ‘insufficient funds’ yesterday at the gas station :D

  2. 2

    info said,

    March 15, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

    http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/342

  3. 3

    omingo said,

    March 30, 2005 @ 10:59 pm

    ++ wow….that’s some heavy opinion there…and well spoken

  4. 4

    Andrew said,

    April 16, 2005 @ 8:29 am

    Perhaps the value system is different than in the rest of canada eh? Education should be FREE for all canadians with all the taxes we pay. Perhaps if the politicians stopped screwing its people it could happen. Perhaps if the corporation were to pay their taxes it could happen. In Quebec, we understand these things quite clearly and fight for our rights. Are you jealous? Stand up and fight like we do and yo too can enjoy more affordable education.

  5. 5

    nomes said,

    April 17, 2005 @ 1:10 am

    um … thanks, i guess, for bothering to actually read the entire article

    (that’s also sarcasm)

  6. 6

    Dina said,

    May 6, 2005 @ 5:55 pm

    argwwwww
    painfully but well said…

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