Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Summer Of Discontent



The Charest government's passage of Bill 78 was supposed to return order to Montreal's streets. But last night, the Globe and Mail reports,

The scenes in Montreal unfolded during a tense late-night march that, on several occasions, saw riot police use tear gas and protesters throw bottles and rocks.

Student protesters were joined by others spilling out of bars and clubs.

Together, they built the fires and cheered as the flames lit up the streets and sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the night sky.

The protests have morphed into something much bigger than a protest against rising tuition fees. The people in the streets are challenging the legitimacy of a government which they believe is corrupt and self serving. Clearly, they plan to pay no attention to the the newly minted law:

At the same time, protesters were already finding creative ways around the controversial legislation.

In an attempt to avoid hefty fines, one prominent student group took down its web page Saturday that listed all upcoming protests. Another anonymous web page with listings quickly popped up in its place — with a note discouraging people from attending.

The disclaimer is meant to evade new rules applying to protest organizers, who must provide an itinerary for demonstrations and could be held responsible for any violence.

The website also accepts submissions for future protests and suggests using a software that blocks a sender’s digital trail.

The powers that be would do well to pay attention to what is happening in Quebec. The people in the streets represent a generation who feel they have been betrayed by the baby boomers. Further evidence of that betrayal came late Friday afternoon when the Harper government released figures on what the changes to OAS will cost the next generation:

Most Canadians 65 and older currently qualify for OAS and the average payment is $6,122.52 a year. That means the loss of income for a couple affected by the new rules is $24,490.08 over two years. The change will be phased in between April, 2023 and January, 2029, meaning it will not affect anyone who was 54 or older as of March 31, 2012.

As is typical of the Harper regime, the announcement was made at the beginning of a holiday weekend. The theory was that nobody would be paying attention. The Quebec protests prove that the kids are paying attention -- and they are willing to act on their discontent.

6 comments:

kirbycairo said...

I think you are right on the button here - there is a growing sense that the so-called baby boomers have enjoyed all the luxuries and are now shifting the entire government and tax structure to take all that away from the next generation. It is a generational betrayal and at a time when our society has more wealth than it has ever had before (but it is in the hands of a small group of baby-boomers), perhaps people are waking up to the injustice.

Owen Gray said...

As a baby boomer, Kirby, I'm furious that my own children will not have the same opportunities and benefits I did -- if the present authorities remain in power.

I cannot condone violent reactions. But I understand why they happen. I'm not sure the people in power do, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Owen,

I don't know if you've been following what's been happening in BC? The Corruptsy Cluck (Christy Clark) is following a pattern of corruption started by the last premiere who was ousted over the HST scandal. Then their is BC Rail, next on the auction block will be BC Hydro. What is happening over the last ten years is an embarrassment. Are all governments now infiltrated and corrupt? It seems that way.

Mike

Owen Gray said...

I follow BC politics from afar, Mike. I get the impression that no one shed a tear when Gordon Campbell left. And I also get the impression that lots of people think Christy Clark is Campbell 2.0.

Money buys influence these days -- and the folks with the most influence are nor necessarily the best or the brightest. They're the ones with the most money.

Anonymous said...

In BC. Ex BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell forgot to tell the BC people, he works for Harper. BC's assets and resources were thieved and sold. Campbell's second election lie, the HST was not on his radar. Well, Harper was drooling at the mouth for BC's HST, it was forced on us anyway. Harper and Campbell also signed a sneaky deal. Harper can force the Enbridge pipeline, onto the BC citizens. Harper rewarded Campbell, the post of, High Commissioner to England, for doing his dirty work for him. Harper and Campbell worked frantically to dismantle BC, before Campbell got the boot.

Harper has placed another one of his henchmen, Boessenkool in with the BC liberals. He lobbies for Enbridge and used to advise for Harper. The BC Conservatives support Harper, on the Enbridge pipeline. A BC liberal Van Dongen is now with the BC Conservatives.

So, as you see. All of them work for Harper. They are all, one and the same party. They have interchangeable parts or, one size fits all.

This is always a problem for BC. We are too far away from Ottawa. Harper just thieves us blind, and the rest of the country, don't even know about it. If any province should separate from Harper, it's BC.

Owen Gray said...

If what I read is true, Anon, a lot of BCers agree with you. I read that the NDP will probably win the next election.

Perhaps you folks, too, will reject Harper's Helpers -- just as Albertans didn't buy what the Wildrose Party was selling.