Monday, June 11, 2012

Loi 78: Québec will become a third world country

Mohamed Kamel*

By adopting the law known in Quebec as “Loi 78”, Quebec is choosing the path of many of the third world countries that refused to recognize people’s rights to protest against government’s poor performance and malfunction.

Yes, in Quebec we have the charter of human rights and freedom, a charter that the Quebec government is not respecting by adopting this law.  A law that denies people’s basic right in assembly and in expressing their refusal of the government’s abuse of power. It is the first time in Quebec modern history where people are accepting to restrict their own freedom. A restriction is going to be in exchange of a broken future.

Earlier this year, Quebec’s government decided to use its majority to raise the university tuition fees without any consultation and without any consideration to the social effect of this increase, taking into consideration that this increase is not isolated from the continuous reductions in the education budget, all levels of education, a yearly repeated action that loads the average Quebecer’s families with additional financial burden. Notwithstanding the detritions of the health services and the introduction of fees to many basic services that favor insurance companies above the people’s wellbeing.

Instead of acting responsibly, the Quebec government chose to increase the financial and social burden on the average family instead of taxing the wealthy people and searching for creative pro-people solutions. Imitating the injustice developed in the USA.

After passing the budget that will double the university tuition fees in 5 years, the government refused to negotiate and refused to explore any fresh ideas coming from the student unions or any Quebecers. Under continuous pressure from the students and many of Quebec’s civil societies, the government accepted to negotiate in plain bad-faith, looking for reasons to stop the negotiation and threatening the students instead of engaging in finding a just solution.  Not understanding that it is creating social unrest by applying unjust measures.

Day after day, and excuse after excuse proved that the government is acting irresponsibly, violating one of its mandates to protect the Quebec charter of human rights and freedom that incorporate two main rights, the right to free public education and the right to information.

Failing to negotiate increased the tension and allowed the heavy handed police to face the peaceful demonstrations and then came this dirty ”loi 78”.  Adding another proof that we are governed by one of the worst and the most irresponsible governments that decided to face our children and our future with another violation of the Quebec charter of human rights and freedom, by restricting people’s rights to refuse and by restricting their rights of peaceful demonstrations and limiting their freedom of expression.

The worst part of this is that a few of the society have accepted that their rights have been restricted, ignoring that this the first step toward a creation of dictatorship and the first step in turning us into a third world country.

Quebecers, similarly to the entire world, admired Egyptian youth in their revolution against the dictatorship in January 2011, but no one tried to spend a few moments analyzing why that revolution happened?         

Being a Canadian Egyptian allows me to look at our history and tell you that this revolution came as a result of history of giving up rights and a history of governments violating its social contract with the people.  And this started somewhere. It started here with “loi 78”.    

Don’t let your youth down, don’t give up your future, be aware that social peace could not been established without social justice

Don’t give up your freedom and don’t sacrifice our future, the future of our children by giving up our Charter of human rights and freedom.

* Mohamed S. Kamel: is a Freelance writer, he is a professional engineer, a LEED Green Associate and a recognized project manager professional, he is Member of several civil society organizations, a co-founder of the Alternative Perspective Media (APM-RAM), , Quebec Antiwar movement “Échec à la Guerre”, Canadian Egyptian for Democracy (CEFD), National Association for Change in Egypt (Taghyeer – Canada), Association of the Egyptians of Montreal (AEM). He could be reached at


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