June 15, 2012: Richard Fidler on the Quebec student strike and Quebec politics

Click image for more about OPIRG Windsor and how you can get involved

Listen to entire program here:

The big news on Friday was the bridge announcement. Now that our Beloved Leader has come and gone, we can wait and see what actually develops out of a bridge deal. Honestly, I don’t know if these power brokers realize it yet but the global economy is on a pretty shaky bridge of its own and to spend billions on this crossing instead of moving freight by rail seems the height of delusion. The west ends of both cities have already been devastated by a megalomaniacal billionaire as a bunch of others line up to get rich building a new bridge. Either way we could be in trouble as we’ll be too busy choking on the increased smog, or if there is a drop in traffic and therefore crucial toll revenue, then there will be this multi-billion dollar monument to ego spanning the river and another one falling apart because Matty Maroun will have gone broke. Friday’s announcement was all theatre and who knows what will actually come about. New governments and different investors may prevail with an environmentally sound plan.

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On the program politics was on the agenda – Quebec politics in the context of the student strike that is still a going concern if somewhat petered out. Richard Fidler, a long-time observer of Quebec politics from his vantage in Ottawa is a member of the Socialist Project and a retired lawyer and translator. His writing appears in publications in France and Australia and on his blog, Life on the Left. In a recent post, Fidler wrote about the Quebec strike that “A new challenge to the students and their supporters is posed in a strategic debate now developing in nationalist and progressive circles. Essentially, it involves a clash between those who want to put the student struggle on ice in order to build an electoral coalition behind the Parti québécois (PQ), and the militants who argue that the future of the movement lies primarily in the development of mass action in the extra-parliamentary arena. In recent days this debate has gone public, with opposing polemics in the radical and mass media.” Well this got me to thinking because this is a similar rift of sorts in the Occupy movement. Recent events in Parliament over the Budget bill shows that a government easily argued to be illegitimate because of a lack of popular support can still implement a radical agenda because it has a majority in Parliament. What are we to do? Mass actions in the streets while building a new electoral force to remove right wing ideologues from power? The Quebec debate should serve us all as we confront power in an Age of Assault, not Austerity. 

In this clip Fidler explains that the strike in its current phase id over and provides some insight into Premier Charest’s next move:

Fidler here describes the Quebec Solidaire and its sole member of the National Assembly, Amir Khadir:

There is a legal defense fund set up for those arrested during the strike:

(Photo by Justin Ling)


Are you interested in food politics? Meal Exchange Windsor is a student-run charity aimed at eradicating hunger both locally and internationally through education and fundraising. This year Meal Exchange has some amazing events lined up, such as cooking classes, gardening workshops, movie nights, and can drives. In order to do this they need your help. Meal Exchange currently recruiting new members as well as an executive council. If you are interested in taking part in an awesome volunteer experience, please contact Sara Howie at windsor@mealexchange.com.

CEA State of the Detroit River
Boat Tour 2012

Saturday July 14, Noon – 4pm
Rain or Shine

Includes Lunch and Narrated Tour

Tickets: $30 CAN/US

Expert narration about the Detroit River’s environmental hot spots and unique fish and wildlife habitats. This is an excellent opportunity to see why we must continue to value this special river and do what we can to protect it.

For complete details and ticket purchase information, click here.

Thanks for the sponsorship provided by the
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup.




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