Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Premier Christy Clark uses "semantics" to turn dirty into clean


Christy Clark's Newspeak


Got a political problem? Easily solved with one word: 'Semantics!'

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 26, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

"Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early."

- George Will, U.S. columnist

Dirty is clean.

Bonuses are salary.
Estimates are money in the bank.
Welcome to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's brave new world of political problem solving!
Clark turned the meaning of several words upside down last week to her government's advantage -- if voters believe it -- and dismissed objections as mere "semantics."
Bonuses for Community Living B.C. executives and managers were allegedly cancelled in October after a public uproar over how people with developmental disabilities were being mistreated. Social Development Minister Harry Bloy and CEO Rick Mowles were turfed as a result.
Last week a new controversy broke out after it was revealed that the bonuses were still being paid and simply redefined as part of their base salary, leading one advocacy group to call it "disgusting."
Clark immediately cleared that up by stating that criticism of the government decision to reward the same executives who had been rightly pilloried was just "semantics."
Dirty language
But Clark wasn't finished yet.
Next the premier declared that energy from fossil fuel natural gas that had been previously declared "dirty" by the BC Liberals' own Clean Energy Act would henceforth be called "clean" -- if it was used to power multi-billion dollar plants to liquefy natural gas for export to Asia.
That means two proposed power-hungry LNG plants with export licenses and four more under consideration -- which would use five times the energy now consumed by Vancouver -- can now burn natural gas for electricity to liquefy their product for shipping overseas.
Interestingly, one surprise critic of the Clean Energy Act was Business Council of B.C. executive vice-president Jock Finlayson, who wrote in an analysis of the legislation that:
"The government remains wedded to a policy of penalizing the use of natural gas as a domestic energy source. We continue to find the government's approach both puzzling and contrary to sound economic principles."
Not surprising then that Clark's reversal announcement that using natural gas to power LNG plants will now be regarded as "clean" came at a Business Council energy conference.
A head for numbers
And Clark warmed up her semantics strategy the week before that, by stating there was $500 million in the 2012 B.C. budget set aside for redeveloping Vancouver's aging St. Paul's Hospital.
It was left to Health Minister Mike de Jong to admit that there was actually only $8 million in that budget and that a business plan and concept wouldn't even be completed till 2014.
But no matter -- calling such picky little details "semantics" simply solves any problems!
Given this clear trend, a similar announcement from Clark may be coming soon.
May 2013: Premier Christy Clark declared a BC Liberal "election victory" despite her party winning less than a dozen seats, as the New Democrats swept to a crushing majority government.
"We clearly won the election because we had the best campaign, the best record and the best leader," boasted Clark. "To say otherwise is just... semantics."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justin Trudeau or Harry Potter? Will Justin save the Liberals with wizardry or is the party magic gone?


Justin Trudeau, Liberal Boy Wizard?
Justin Trudeau, Liberal MP

Harry Potter - as played by Daniel Radcliffe

He'll need to cast a significant spell to enchant voters and vanquish You-Know-Who.

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 19, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

"There are all kinds of courage,' said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
       - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A young man of noble parentage is called upon to fulfill an historic role.

He is sent to learn wizardry, spells and dark arts at a special school where only a handful of the chosen few are taught by a strange collection of misfit magicians.
The popular young man enters an ancient contest of strength and skill and, despite being heavily outmatched by a tougher, bigger opponent, wins the battle.

While at the school, a sinister and enormously powerful enemy arises to threaten the very existence of all that is good and right.
Will this young man emerge as the hero, defeating these forces of darkness and vanquishing forever the snake that enables their evil deeds?

Or will Justin Trudeau decline the leadership of the federal Liberal Party?
More Muggle than magic?

To read some pundits, one would think the 40-year-old Member of Parliament for Papineau is the party's own Harry Potter, their only hope to battle the Lord Voldemort of Canada -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Yet while former Liberal prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's son may have cast a spell on his party, it remains to be seen if the country can be similarly enchanted.
Certainly Liberals can't be blamed for seeking a hero after suffering through four leaders with feet of clay: their last prime minister, the weak-kneed Paul Martin; failed opposition leaders Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff; and now departing interim leader Bob Rae, who will not run in next year's convention.

On the plus side, Trudeau has the name, the excitement factor, is fluently bilingual and easily draws media attention.
His Twitter account has over 136,000 followers and on Facebook more than 44,000 "like" his page.

And he is the Liberal Party's biggest fundraising draw, much in demand across the country.
On the minus side, however, Trudeau has not distinguished himself at Hogwarts -- err, Parliament -- or before that as either a leader or an expert on anything.

His biggest claim to fame is winning a three-round boxing match against Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau that he was expected to lose badly. Perhaps as impressive as Harry Potter's Quidditch game victory, but far from the young wizard's greatest achievement.
And Trudeau has proven prone to embarrassing gaffes, like when he said Harper staying in power could convince him to vote for Quebec separation.

"And I always say that if I ever believed Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper and we were going against abortion and going against gay marriage, and we were going backward in 10,000 different ways, maybe I'd think of wanting to make Quebec a country," Trudeau said in a radio interview in February.
The ill-advised comments, which surprised even his nationalist host, forced a furious round of "I love Canada" statements from Trudeau -- and unwanted support from Bloc Quebecois members as well as criticism from Conservative MPs.

By comparison, Pierre Trudeau was an accomplished justice minister when he became prime minister and had enjoyed a notable career as an intellectual, law professor and editor.
Daunting fight ahead

The Liberals have seemingly forever tried to fix structural party problems with hasty duct tape solutions -- new leaders instead of new ideas, change at the top instead of a change in approach.

Perhaps Trudeau can both inspire confidence and use that to fundamentally alter his party to be competitive in the 2019 election. Certainly it would take magic to overcome both the governing Conservatives and opposition New Democrats under Thomas Mulcair in 2015's vote.
But with two young children at home and a life ahead of him, Trudeau may bravely tell his friends in the party that their daunting task needs hard work from many, not a young wizard trying to work his untested magic at the top.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

BASI-VIRK: Auditor-General application to obtain government documents for inquiry into $6 million legal indemnity granted despite guilty pleas put off to September 10 in BC Supreme Court

Bill Tieleman interviews Dave Basi outside BC Supreme Court
An application by BC Auditor-General John Doyle to obtain government documents requested to complete his inquiry into $6 million legal indemnity granted to ex-government aides Dave Basi and Bob Virk has been put off to September 10 in BC Supreme Court.

Doyle is trying to determine why Basi and Virk - former BC Liberal government ministerial aides closely involved in the 2003 BC Rail privatization who made surprise guilty pleas in October 2010 shortly after their trial on breach of trust charges had begun - were still given an indemnity for their legal fees.

The BC government has refused to turn over some documents requested by Doyle, which led to his court application.

The Basi-Virk/BC Rail scandal erupted after an unprecedented police raid on the BC Legislature on December 28, 2003 - just a month after the $1 billion sale of BC Rail to CN Rail. 

Basi and Virk protested their innocence through a multi-year pre-trial hearing plagued by difficulties for the defence to gain access to evidence against the pair but ultimately both pled guilty on October 18, 2010 after just two witnesses had testified - and with both former and current cabinet ministers expected to take the witness stand in a lengthy trial.

Most recently BC Conservative Party MLA John van Dongen - a former BC Liberal Solicitor-General who quit the party in March - successfully filed an application for intervenor status at the upcoming hearing. 

Van Dongen is personally paying for his lawyer Roger McConchie to represent him at the hearing, to be held by BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman.

Van Dongen says his role as a former cabinet minister will allow him to give a different perspective to the court than that of the Auditor-General - who is an independent officer of the BC Legislature.

"My involvement as an intervener will be to present a perspective that is a little bit different from the auditor-general in that I'm a legislator representing the interest of British Columbians," van Dongen said outside court on June 1.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Corporate CEO Jim Shepard rides to Premier Christy Clark's political rescue - with faulty facts and red scare tactics about BC "socialism"

The Premier's Good Shepard
Jim Shepard has gone from CEO at Canfor and Finning to advising Christy Clark on the economy to heading Concerned Citizens for B.C. 
Veteran CEO Jim Shepard publicly exalts Christy Clark, but his rescue mission takes the wrong approach.

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 12, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

"You know, we lived through socialism in B.C. for 10 years. I know what it looks like and it is not pretty."

- Jim Shepard, Concerned Citizens for B.C.
One can admire veteran corporate executive Jim Shepard for doing what he believes is right -- attempting to save Premier Christy Clark by putting his retirement time and business experience on the line to head a political rescue mission.
But Shepard is the wrong salvage operator, who's using faulty facts and a counterproductive approach that may backfire on the BC Liberals.
First -- get real. When Shepard said in a 2010 interview that B.C. experienced "socialism," he was referring to the New Democratic Party governments of Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark in the 1990s.
"Socialism" in B.C. like in North Korea or back in the U.S.S.R.? How absurd.
Shepard should really have a chat with Glen Clark about that -- you know, the guy who is now president of the Jim Pattison Group -- B.C.'s third largest private corporation, with sales of $7.4 billion and 34,000 employees internationally.
And Shepard knows Glen quite well -- after all, Clark joined forest company Canfor's board of directors in 2009 while Shepard was still CEO. Neither company is state-owned.
Shepard also apparently puts U.S. President Barack Obama in the same "socialist" category as Clark. The full 2010 quote from Shepard in the middle of Obama's first term of office sounds like something Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich might spout.
"It worries me about leadership in the U.S. right now and the direction it is going. You know, we lived through socialism in B.C. for 10 years. I know what it looks like and it is not pretty," Shepard told The Globe and Mail.
Amazing! Both the American president and the president of the Pattison Group are secret "socialists" undermining our cherished free enterprise way of life. Who knew?
We better put a stop to this -- call out Concerned Citizens for B.C.!
Blame the media
Second, the new Concerned Citizens for B.C. volunteer group leader blames not Christy Clark but the media for her problems.
"Christy has not been given a fair shake. She has not been identified as a competent premier," Shepard told reporters last week. "I want B.C. to see what I [see in Clark]."
"If the media could see Christy Clark the way I see her day in, day out, they'd be singing her praises to the heavens," Shepard told CKNW radio host Sean Leslie on Sunday.
But apparently what most of B.C. sees in Clark, it doesn't like.
Angus Reid Public Opinion released a national poll last week that showed Clark is Canada's second most unpopular premier with just a 30 per cent approval rating, narrowly ahead of Nova Scotia NDP Premier Darrel Dexter.
But NDP leader Adrian Dix is Canada's second most popular opposition leader, with a 53 per cent approval rating.
And while Clark's approval rating has dropped three per cent since March, Dix's has risen six per cent.
Blame the pollster
Shepard, who has been a $1-a-year economic advisor in Clark's office for the past year, has a lot of work to do changing that perception.
He might usefully start by telling Clark to stop shooting the messengers. Clark's response to the poll should have been to shrug it off and say she'll work even harder.
Instead, for the second time in a month, she blasted Angus Reid Public Opinion, questioning the world-renowned firm's polling.
After saying the election is a year away and that in recent months "we've seen polls aren't really very meaningful," Clark fired her torpedo:
"And third, it's an Angus Reid poll," Clark said with a smile. "Anything else?"
Founder Angus Reid wasn't having any of it.
"Maybe at least it's time to say, you know, 'Please, Madame Premier, back off. If you want to look at records, you can look at our record, but you may want to look at your own record because there's a lot of people in B.C. looking at that record and they don't like what they see,'" Reid told CKNW Radio's Jon McComb on Thursday.
Blame the 'dismal decade'
If Clark is less than diplomatic, hardline conservative Shepard has a take-no-prisoners approach.
As CEO of Finning International, the world's biggest Caterpillar equipment dealer, Shepard moved the company's Canadian head office from Vancouver to Edmonton in 1999 due to his antagonism towards the Glen Clark government.
Shepard also took out full-page newspaper ads in 2001 to support the election of Gordon Campbell.
But don't try to convince Shepard that the NDP's term in office from 1991 to 2001 didn't turn the province into a Depression-era dustbowl -- because he just won't listen.
"They had control of the province for 10 years," he told CKNW Sunday. "They took us from having one of the richest provinces in the country, where we were one of the strongest economies, to the absolutely worst economy in the province... to the point where we were on welfare, British Columbia was receiving equalization payments from Ottawa.
"That is absolutely pathetic -- and that's the kind of bottom line that we got with an NDP rule of 10 years," Shepard concluded incredulously.
In fact, the NDP government's track record during what Shepard and BC Liberals try to label the "dismal decade" is actually surprising positive compared to the current government's own results over 10 years.
You can look at many different statistics but check these:
Average economic growth under the NDP governments of the 1990s was three per cent -- that's far better than the BC Liberals' two per cent. Under the "socialist" NDP, corporate profits rose by 251 per cent, exports jumped 107 per cent, the provincial Gross Domestic Product was up by $51 billion -- a 63 per cent hike -- and capital investment rose 35 per cent.
The BC Liberals actually received five equalization payments from Ottawa in a decade totaling over $2.7 billion. The NDP? Just one of $125 million.
But why would Shepard or Premier Clark bother with the facts when fighting "socialism" is so appealing to the corporate funders the BC Liberals depended on for over 62 per cent of its income last year?
Still, one reason to change their dated 1950s Red Scare approach is because to ordinary voters, the claims are so ridiculous.
Dix himself comes from a family of small business owners. And the NDP gratefully accepts corporate donations -- $229,000 last year -- and is soliciting now harder than ever.
A strange footnote
Lastly, in a strange footnote, Shepard's new group has a remarkably similar name to one started by now-Finance Minister Kevin Falcon in the 1990s to undertake a "Total Recall" of NDP MLAs.
In an online profile, Falcon's old group "Concerned Citizens of B.C." is listed at an address that is currently occupied by the MLA's constituency office.
But a BC Liberal caucus spokesperson assures that the old group has nothing to do with either Shepard or Falcon's current role, saying the information was "dated."
Sort of like Shepard's approach to B.C. politics.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Does new Jim Shepard pro-Christy Clark group "Concerned Citizens for BC" have same address as BC Liberal MLA Kevin Falcon constituency?

At last night's BC Liberal Party fundraising dinner, Premier Christy Clark announced that Jim Shepard, her $1 a year economic advisor, was leaving to create "Concerned Citizens for BC" to promote Clark's leadership and defeat the surging New Democrats.


So why is a group with the near-identical title "Concerned Citizens of BC" apparently headquartered in the taxpayer-funded constituency office of BC Liberal Finance Minister and Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon?

Gordon Campbell &
Kevin Falcon


That would appear to be at least politically wrong, since constituency offices are required to be apolitical and Shephard's mission is anything but.

The former CEO of Finning and Canfor is an ardent NDP hardline opponent who claims that: "You know, we lived through socialism in BC for 10 years." See:

Search "Concerned Citizens for BC" on Google and you find this listing:

Concerned Citizens Of Bc
Address: 17700 No 10 Hwy #108, Surrey BC,
Sales: $1 - $500,000
Employees: Approximately: three employees work at this location
604-575-1524

Here is The URL

Then Google search that same address and you get this:

MLA: Hon. Kevin Falcon
 Surrey-Cloverdale
 Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier
 Elected: 2001, 2005, 2009
 BRITISH COLUMBIA LIBERAL PARTY

Constituency: 108 – 17700 No. 10 Highway Surrey, BC 
V3S 1C7
Phone: 604 576-3792 Fax: 604 576-3797

So the question for Falcon and Shephard is simple - please explain this apparent contradiction. Is this the same group or a very similarly named one?

And either way, why is it apparently headquartered in Falcon's constituency office? Concerned British Columbians want to know.

UPDATE - The Province newspaper's Cassidy Olivier made inquiries and published a story which a BC Liberal caucus spokesperson says the similar names are a "coincidence" and that the old Kevin Falcon "Total Recall" group has nothing to do with the constituency office.  

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Montreal student & community protests gain wide support as Quebec approaches significant change

Among Protesters in Montreal, Visions of BC Unrest
Bill Tieleman in protest march on Mount Royal Avenue in Montreal,
Saturday June 2, 2012
Bakers come out of boulangerie kitchen to join in the protest!
Xavier Ovando wears toilet plungers as ear muffs to dampen
the noise of pots and pans noise!
Residents living above a restaurant show support.

Even nuns come out to support the protest.
All photos by Bill Tieleman
Columnist Bill Tieleman dives into Quebec's pot banging "casserole" student and community revolt and files this dispatch.

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 5, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

 "This isn't a student strike, it's a society waking up."
- Banner at Montreal protest June 2, 2012
MONTREAL - As the "casserole" protest with banging pots and pans took over Montreal's historic Mount Royal Avenue, first it was Dollarama store clerks who came out to applaud the marchers.
Then it was bartenders and servers standing in their doorways to cheer on 7,500 protestors braving the Saturday afternoon rain.
They oppose not just a 75 per cent tuition fee hike for students but also the Quebec Liberal government's draconian Bill 78, legislation that makes demonstrations of more than 50 people illegal unless police approve in advance.
Next came chefs from boulangeries and patisseries in white uniforms, bringing their own kitchenware to add more noise to the rally.
Residents joined in, unfurling red blankets out apartment windows to match the trademark red square -- carre rouge -- on protestors' clothing, the official sign of support for students.
But I heard the biggest applause when several nuns in blue habits came out of their church to support the march.
Protest grown beyond tuition, any maybe borders
Whatever happens in the biggest and longest student protest in North America in decades, it is clear that Quebec is facing significant change that could bring about the defeat of the Charest government and more.
And the protest is no longer simply about tuition fee hikes that would increase per student costs by $1,625 a year -- an annual jump of $325 over five years, according to government figures.
That would hike Canada's lowest tuition from $2,168 to $3,793, plus mandatory institutional fees.
But student groups argue it's even more -- going from $2,890 including those mandatory institutional fees, to $4,700.
Either way, as one McGill University professor pointed out in the Montreal Gazette, Charest paid less tuition when he was a university student in Sherbrooke in the 1970s than today's students are charged in today's dollars -- before any fee increase.
The government's plan to increase student debt load to reduce its own deficit is what triggered the red squares seen on clothing everywhere in Montreal. It comes from the French carre rouge -- red square -- and the phrase "carrement dans la rouge" - translating to "squarely in the red" in reference to the rising cost of an education.
Through the student activism Quebecers have found a renewed collective sense of power, a way to display their anger at a government many see as tired, disconnected and scarred by allegations of corruption that forced and ongoing public inquiry.


video
Part of speech  (en francaise) by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of CLASSE at rally at Parc Jeanne Manse before march.   - Bill Tieleman video
Rite of passage
If anything, student protests are a tradition in Quebec, which have marked previous periods of great social change. The 2012 student strike that has now gone on for 16 weeks marks the ninth such action since the 1960s in the province.
And Quebec's past student leaders have carried on to take major roles in the province, including former premier Bernard Landry, ex-Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, former cabinet minister Louise Harel and ex-Montreal mayor Jean Dore.
For over 40 consecutive nights there has been a "casserole" protest march through Montreal streets, with students being joined by young families with children in strollers, seniors, workers and others.
The concept of banging pots and pans in protest -- previously seen in countries like Chile under the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship, when public demonstrations were too dangerous to hold -- came after Bill 78 was quickly rammed through the Quebec National Assembly.
Each night at 8 p.m. residents in Montreal neighbourhoods -- and in Quebec City and other towns -- go to street corners with pots, pans, wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils and bang them loudly for several minutes.
For some, that's the extent of the protest. For others, the 8 o'clock noise is a signal to march, with crowds converging and diverging downtown amidst a heavy police presence that has already cost Montreal an additional more than $7 million by just mid-May.
A catalyst called Bill 78
Bill 78 has been condemned by the Quebec Bar Association and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association among other groups and even drew 700 Montreal lawyers in black robes to stage a silent march from a courthouse to join other protestors in the streets because it outlaws public demonstrations by more than 50 people unless a route has been submitted to police and authorized at least eight hours in advance.
Organizations found guilty of violating Bill 78 provisions face enormous fines of up to $35,000.
Quebec's student groups are challenging sections of Bill 78 in court as unconstitutional in a legal battle that will ensure continued criticism of the government.
After a massive 300,000 person rally on May 23, police used a controversial "kettle" maneuver to isolate and arrest about 500 people -- many of them bystanders and journalists not participating in a night march.
But since then, both protesters and police have largely ignored Bill 78. Most of the nightly marches and Saturday's daytime rally were done illegally but police obliged by escorting the "manifestations" and blocking traffic.
In some ways, it is very much a literal class war. Students have boycotted classes and gained the support of Quebec's powerful labour unions, as well as many professors and teachers.
The most militant of the student groups fighting the government even has the acronym CLASSE -- Coalition large de l'association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (The Coalition Large Association for Student Labour Solidarity, in English) -- and over 100,000 members.
On the other side Quebec's main business organization, the Conseil du patronat du Quebec, said a survey of its members found 95 per cent support for Charest's tuition hikes and 68 per cent backed Bill 78's restrictions on public demonstrations.
And hotels are already reporting negative consequences as tourists avoid Montreal due to the perception -- completely wrong in my experience last week -- that the city is not safe to visit.
No stopping any time soon
But it's understandable that businesses dependent on tourist dollars oppose the continued protests and just want them to stop, which won't happen.
Their concern is rising as Montreal prepares for its two biggest tourist attractions of the summer -- the Formula 1 Grand Prix auto race next weekend, the city's world renowned jazz festival that runs from June 28 to July 7 and the Just For Laughs comedy festival July 10 to 29.
The battle between student groups and a Liberal government that has been beset by controversy and negative public opinion polls has generated extreme tension on both sides.
And even media coverage is being questioned for accuracy. A group of bilingual Quebec anglophones got so frustrated that national media was providing such different coverage of the protests than in their province that they set up a translation service online to provide English Canada with access to Le Devoir, La Presse and other francophone media.
Titled "Translating the printemps érable" -- a clever word play on the "Arab spring" movement in French that substitutes érable (maple) for Arab -- the website provides a very different perspective than Anglophone media reporting.
In either language, Charest initially appeared to be gaining public support by taking on the students but passage of Bill 78 and the widespread negative reaction it caused has put his government on edge.
After high-profile talks in Quebec City between the government and three student group broke down last Wednesday, Charest went to the media to claim CLASSE had threatened to disrupt the Grand Prix, worth an estimated $90 million to Quebec's economy.
"We are appealing to people who were thinking of disturbing the Grand Prix to abstain out of respect for Quebecers," Charest said Friday.
CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois responded that Charest was fear-mongering and that while students would not give up their protests, their only Formula 1 action would be to inform visitors of their fight.
'We're in deep...'
"We are going to hand out information... so that tourists who visit Quebec will know what’s going on here and so they understand why they see images of protests on television every day," Nadeau-Dubois told reporters before Saturday's march.
And the fiery student leader has accusations of his own against the government.
"Quebec's public safety minister told me that he could have me arrested. They looked into every nook and cranny of my past and treated me like I was behind all of the violence in the street, it went pretty far," Nadeau-Dubois told Agence France Presse.
The 21-year-old student leader says his parents -- one a former union leader -- are proud of him but Nadeau-Dubois admitted they are all concerned about possible financial and legal consequences from his mission.
"As we say at our place, we're in deep shit," he said.
But regardless of personal consequences for its leaders, the protests in Quebec may well have significant impact in British Columbia, other provinces and even beyond, since student activists in the United Kingdom and other countries are watching.
Quebec tuition and student debt is the lowest in Canada, thanks largely to student militancy and public support that has discouraged successive governments from raising fees.
And more may come from the protests than just a tuition freeze or even a change in government, says Nadeau-Dubois.
"I've always believed that the great political advances in Quebec occurred because people mobilized in the streets," he told AFP.
If Quebec protests succeed in freezing tuition fees, B.C. students may ask why they pay up to double that province's rates for the same education.
The clanging of pots and pans may spread to Vancouver and other Canadian cities if students believe making a noisy "casserole" will save them thousands of dollars in debt -- and if enough of the public agrees.

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