Charles C.W. Cooke has a good piece over at NRO about the standoff over the past several months between university students and the provincial government in Quebec over tuition hikes.
When I attended Carleton University in Ottawa in the 1990s, we envied university students going to school across the river in Quebec because they had the lowest tuition rates in the country. Well, guess what! They still do and even with the proposed increases they probably still would (with perhaps the possible exception of Newfoundland & Labrador). But apparently Quebec university students think the world owes them a living and are willing to commit violence to make sure it stays that way while Quebec’s main student organization, CLASSE, claims it doesn’t “have a mandate to condemn violence.”
Well, yesterday, the Metro subway system in Montreal was shut down for several hours after three smoke bombs were thrown on the tracks almost simultaneously at several subway stations. While no one claimed responsibility, angry commuters pointed the finger at striking students. As of this writing, Montreal police are currently investigating four suspects (three female, one male). The three female suspects attend the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).
Although there were no fatalities from yesterday’s event, it was an act of terrorism. It was designed to intimidate and scare people who have no dog in this fight to submit to the students’ demands. Well, whatever sympathy the Quebec public might have had with the students is gone. Quebec doesn’t want to become the Greece of North America.
UPDATE: The four suspects turned themselves in and are facing charges of inciting fear of terrorism. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison.