Both yesterday and today there have been further violent clashes between demonstrators opposed to the fee increases and the police in Montreal. Malicious property damage , personal injury to both protestors and police and innocent bystanders have resulted. One has to condemn violence by protestors. It is uncceptable and only damages the cause of the students in public opinion. Students have every right to peacefully assemble and make their dissenting views known without being attacked. But they must do it peacefully. Agent provocateurs and violent extremists need to be excluded.
At the same time it is long overdue for the provincial government to sit down and talk to students through their representatives and negotiate a compromise. A number of prominent intellectuals, professors and former trade unionists have called on the government to suspend their proposal to increase fees for a period of time during which calm negotiations can occur and further necessary study and debate about the future of post secondary education and the means to finance it can take place. This is a good idea that deserves support from all sides.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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