Canada

For the past 12 weeks, students of Quebec’s colleges and universities have been on strike against Premier Jean Charest’s proposal to increase tuition fees by 75%. The indefinite strike involves more than 170,000 students and is now attracting high school students. Broad layers of the general public are sympathetic to the movement.
 

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.

The general membership of Carleton University’s Graduate Students’ Association voted overwhelmingly on March 21 and 22 in support of the Ottawa university divesting, via its pension fund, from companies complicit in the illegal military occupation of Palestine.

The plebiscite question, which has provisionally passed by 72.6%, marks the first time in Canada, and what is believed to be the second time globally, that a student union has taken a position via a direct vote in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli violations of international law.

Tens of thousands of students and their supporters marched in big Quebec cities on March 18 to oppose the Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s government’s promise to impose a 75% rise in post-secondary education fees over the next five years.

In Montreal, about 30,000 “former, present and future university students” protested. The march stretched for more than 1.5 kilometres, newspaper Le Devoir said. Thousands more marched in Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Alma.

The statement below was released by Tar Sands Action on October 31. The group is seeking to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, built to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet. For more information, visit www.tarsandsaction.org .

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Yesterday we got some of the strongest confirmation yet that efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline are having a long-term impact on the tar sands industry.

Independent and community media makers in Canada have passed a groundbreaking national motion to join the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. 

In June, the National Campus and Community Radio Association of Canada (NCRA) ― an umbrella organisation representing more than 80 radio stations across Canada ― adopted the motion at its annual meeting.

NCRA said: “In doing so, the NCRA is proudly the first national media organization in Canada to join the global movement for BDS.”

The incumbent Conservative Party sailed to victory in Canada’s federal election on May 2 with the first majority government in the federal Parliament since the 2000 election.

There was celebration in the boardrooms across the country. The victory caps a decades-long drive by much of Canada’s business elite to fashion a strong national government around a hard-right agenda.

Federal elections were held in Canada on May 2 after the conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper lost a motion of no-confidence in parliament. In the elections, Harper's government was returned -- winning enough extra seats to move from being minority government to a majority one.

Seventy-five people staged a noisy rally in Vancouver on September 11 in support of 492 Tamil asylum seekers who landed on Canada’s west coast in August. The rally was organised by the Vancouver chapter of No One Is Illegal.

The rally was held outside the Burnaby Youth Detention Center where many of the 63 women and 49 children who were on board the MV Sun Sea were held. (Burnaby is a suburb of Vancouver). Noisemakers and loud music were deployed to send a message to the asylum seekers that they have strong support in Canada for their claim for refugee status.

The Fabio Di Celmo Committee for the Five, (CFDCF) of Quebec-Cuba Solidarity, has been organising picket lines in front of the US Consulate in downtown Montreal the first Thursday of every month for more than three years in solidarity with the Cuban Five.

The five are Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, and Ramón Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez. They were arrested 12 years ago on September 12, sentenced to long prison terms and held in terrible penitentiary conditions.

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