Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

PQ leader Pauline Marois and candidate and former student leader Leo Bureau-Blouin respond to questions during a news conference Thursday, August 2, 2012 in Laval, Que.

Paul Chiasson/CP

The Parti Québécois' call for a "truce" suspending student protests about tuition-feee increases until after the Quebec election on Sept. 4 amounts to an implicit recognition of the unpopularity of the protests.

Pauline Marois, the Opposition Leader, has practically admitted as much, having said last Thursday that continuing the demonstrations this month would "play into the hands" of Jean Charest, the incumbent Premier. Likewise, one of the student leaders, Léo Bureau-Blouin, the former president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec and now a PQ candidate, said, "All precautions must be taken in order not to work in favour of the Liberals."

The word "truce" implies neutrality. The logic of Ms. Marois' proposal, however, is that if Mr. Charest and the Liberals are re-elected, the protests will start all over again, renewing the inconveniences to the citizens and voters of Montreal. If the PQ were victorious, the fees increase would be reversed and the Liberals' emergency protest law would be repealed, all within 100 days; there would then be a summit on the financing and management of universities, presumably resulting in fee increases no greater than the rate of inflation, as per the PQ program.

Story continues below advertisement

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the spokesperson of the most radical student group, CLASSE, has rejected the truce. Mr. Bureau-Blouin's successor at FECQ, Martine Desjardins, is non-committal, but expresses worry about "giving weapons to the Liberals." Small protests continue; they could get bigger after the university and college terms begin.

Ms. Marois made clear her support for the student boycott last spring, not only by doing her share of pot-banging, but also in so many words. That, at least, was a straightforward position, however mistaken. Now that she appears to accept that many voters, including undecided swing voters, disapproved of the demonstrations – especially their most disruptive aspects, including vandalism and intimidation of students who wanted to attend classes – she is being less intellectually honest.

All this tends to confirm Mr. Charest's assertion that there is a "silent majority" that opposed the student demonstrations, and that Ms. Marois is trying to play down the whole issue – until, as she hopes, she wins the election.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies