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The Globe and Mail

Charest aims to boost youth competitiveness

Quebec Premier Jean Charest arrives at a news conference to present his party's theme of the day on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Sherbrooke, Que.


You'd think Jean Charest would steer clear of measures to force teens to work after he blasted the CAQ's François Legault for suggesting Quebec youths don't work as hard in school as Asian kids do. But no.

Today, Mr. Charest, at a campaign stop in Sherbrooke, promised to require that all Quebec high-school students do 10 hours of volunteer work before they can pass a mandatory class. It's the first time Quebec students will be required to do community work, though students in neighbouring Ontario and some other provinces already do it.

The Quebec Liberal Leader also promised to create an optional high-school course on entrepreneurship which includes a few meetings between students and entrepreneurs, currently only offered at some schools, available across the province. One day after Mr. Legault raised concerns Quebec youths won't be competitive, Mr. Charest appeared to be playing to the same crowd.

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