It’s hard to say what has prompted students in Vancouver to launch a protest “in solidarity” with Montreal students. The Quebec students are upset about small, incremental and entirely reasonable increases in their tuition, most of which is paid for by average workers and industry. It’s not exactly the kind of government assault on human rights that prompts protests in countries that actually have problems.
Do the Vancouver students have nothing else to do? Are they desperate for a cause? Whatever folly has taken root in their fertile imaginations, “solidarity” with Quebec students is certainly not a reason, regardless of what some of their spokespersons say.
We already know Quebec students pay the lowest tuition in Canada. And we’re not talking nickels. A Quebec student pays only a little more than half of what a subsidized B.C. student pays.
And yet, there they are, blocking the streets and cutting off businesses from their livelihood — the means by which they pay taxes to support the students, who in turn just keep demanding more.
Yes, there they are, damaging property, like a child throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get his way. There they are, disrupting classes for other students who appreciate their education enough to try to go to class so they can later make a contribution to Canada’s well being.
So what is it about these Quebec students that the Vancouver students seek to emulate?
Is it that their age group falls into a nowhere zone? Ahead of them is an older group that has had to contend with the fallout of 9-11 and Afghanistan. Behind them is a group that, right from elementary school, has demonstrated an impressive social conscience.
That age group has launched fundraising drives for schools and school supplies in Third World countries. It has adopted the Me to We program of caring and support for less-privileged students. Some have enjoyed family vacations overseas that include a day or a couple of weeks working with the poor. It would appear their parents don’t want their children thinking the world owes them a living.
Perhaps the Vancouver students need a better focus, one that would help someone, somewhere.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.