Support Freedom of Speech for Canadian College Students

Target: Quebec Premier Jean Charest

Goal: Don’t penalize students for protesting against steep tuition increases at universities

One of Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s most damaging actions while in office was to pass a bill that controls the rights of college students throughout the province who may try to protest against the steep tuition increases that have been implemented in Canadian universities. Premier Charest has promised that he will not repeal the bill even though it violates students’ freedoms. Premier Charest’s bill is unconstitutional and must be repealed.

In enacting his bill, Premier Charest is siding with citizens who have complained at the amount of students protesting the tuition increases. Charest’s bill fines students up to $125,000 for blocking access to campus buildings. It also penalizes the hordes of students who have boycotted their classes and blocked bridges and streets since the tuition increases and after the bill was put in motion. A commission on human rights in Quebec issued a ruling that deems the bill unconstitutional because it violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which defend freedom of conscience, opinion, expression and peaceful reunion.

Charest’s bill has only caused further unrest to student populations and concerned citizens because there is now another reason to protest: the fact that Charest is trying to control people’s freedoms and rights. Charest’s bill should be repealed because it has done nothing to help education become more affordable and has given more reasons for students to abandon their classrooms.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Quebec Premier Jean Charest,

You enacted a bill that limits the freedoms of college students who have protested the steep tuition increases in Canadian universities. Although it was deemed unconstitutional by a Quebec human rights commission, you continue to stand by your position that college students should not have the right to protest something they do not agree with, and should be fined for doing so.

Enacting this bill has only led to more protests and more unrest. The number one reason why people are now occupying streets and bridges is because they want to send the message that they will not stand idly by while their basic rights are taken away from them. Your bill has given students more reasons to abandon their classrooms rather than return to them. Please repeal your bill now before more people lose trust in you and their government.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Google Images

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Signatures

  • Stefano Serpico
  • Samantha Trosky
  • Kyler Donlan
  • Patricia Chang
  • Robert Ortiz
  • dorinda kelley
  • Kimberly Wiley
  • Paul Stober
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