Quebec college and university students are now in the 13th week of their militant province-wide strike, while voting by overwhelming majorities to reject a government offer that met none of their key demands.
After a 22-hour bargaining session involving ministers of the Charest government, university and college heads, and leaders of the major trade-union centrals, the student leaders agreed on May 6 to put the offer to a vote of their memberships without recommending acceptance.
If the offer (the French-language text is here) were accepted:
A crowd estimated at 250,000 people or more wound its way through Montréal April 22 in Quebec's largest ever Earth Day march.
They raised many demands: an end to tar sands and shale gas development, opposition to the Quebec government's Plan Nord mining expansion, support for radical measures to protect ecosystems, and other causes. And many wore the red felt square symbolizing support to the province's students fighting the Liberal government's 75 percent increase in post-secondary education fees over the next five years. The Earth Day march was the largest mobilization to date in a mounting wave of citizen protest throughout the province.