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Here are some of the most draconian sections of Bill 78, the Charest Liberal government’s legislation against the Québec student strikers.
Section 16 says the police must be informed eight hours in advance and in writing about any demonstration, including the duration and route of the protests, for actions larger than 50 or more people. (The Liberals increased the number from the original proposal of eight people).
Section 17 says that organizers, or even a student association taking part in the march without being its organizer, must make sure that the event complies with the parameters handed to police.
Every waged person on university and college campuses is subject to the provisions. This is particularly aimed at university teachers, who have supported the students, refusing to give classes and joining the picket lines. Some have been arrested at demonstrations, or have been scooped by police from within the campus.
Section 13 and 14 says that no one can “directly or indirectly contribute” to delaying classes or denying access to them.
Section 15 says student associations must employ “appropriate means” to induce their members to not directly or indirectly disrupt classes. Offering encouragement for someone to protest at a school, either tacitly or otherwise, is subject to punishment.
The Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport may order an educational institution, notwithstanding any contrary provision, to stop collecting student association fees.
If there is a demonstration that is unauthorized, the fine will be: $1,000‑$5,000 for individual protesters; $7,000‑$35,000 for organizers; $25,000‑$125,000 for student associations. These fines will double for each “repeat offence”. If one class is lost in a university because of a demonstration, or any action, the student association will lose the equivalent of a semester of student fees as well as its office space.
Police can break up “unauthorized” assemblies of larger than 50 people.
Fines also apply to the labour movement if it actively supports the students.
Bill 78 removes the legal requirement for colleges to deliver 82 days of classes to complete a session, giving colleges the power to change their schedule.