« On behalf of poor families… »
Note: What problem was raised by the Workers Party? Have these problems been solved today?
«On behalf of poor families and the many others we represent for whom life is full of constant hard work and sacrifices of all types, we ask you to grant us free education. And if this is impossible at this time, we at least request better and cheaper education.
In the upper classes composed of capitalists, industrialists, financiers, traders, the issue of tuition and uniformity of books is virtually a matter of no importance because all these people have the means to give their sons and daughters the education they please, in any institution they choose. But the worker, the laborer, the poor father who almost always has a large family, who works hard for a living and whose salary is often not sufficient to pay for rent, food, clothes, cool doctors, etc, which make up the inevitable budget, does not always have the money to buy the books that are so expensive nor pay tuition.
The school system, in its actual form, is a weakness for the province of Quebec.
The school system, as it should be, should be an instrument of recovery and strength within the hands of French Canadians.”
Source of extract: Free translation of Extrait du mémoire du Parti ouvrier lors de la Commission royale d’enquête sur l’éducation, cité dans le Journal Le Pays 14 mai 1911. Publié par le Groupe de chercheurs de l’Université du Quebec à Montréal sur l’histoire des travailleurs québécois, L’action politique des ouvriers québécois (fin du XIXe siècle à 1919) : recueil de documents, Université du Quebec à Montréal, Groupe de chercheurs sur l’histoire des travailleurs, 1976, p.64-66.