Students for Liberty has officially hit the ground running in the French Canadian province of Quebec.
It all began on the evening of November 6, 2013, when some 40 liberty lovers gathered at a local pub in downtown Montreal for the launch event of “Youth for Liberty.” This group seeks to join together young people, both students and non-students, from across all colleges and universities in Montreal, and bridge the language divide between liberty lovers across all campuses regardless of their language.
Montreal is a city of knowledge, with four universities and 20 colleges, and the largest number of students in an urban center with over 200,000. Moreover, there are two language communities, and it was important to bring together young anglophones and francophones together to discuss, promote, and defend liberty.
Youth for Liberty is hosting two events in the winter term, with the first being on Thursday, January 23. We are proud to have Vincent Geloso, who will speak on “Good and Bad Inequalities.” Vincent is the author of Le Grand Rattrapage et le Déclin Tranquille: Histoire Économique et Sociale du Québec de 1900 à 2010 and will present his most recent research on government generated inequalities.
Youth for Liberty will also host Jean Laberge on Sunday, February 2. Jean Leberge teaches philosophy at the Collège du Vieux-Montréal. He will speak on his most recent book, Who’s Afraid of Ayn Rand?, and how the philosophy of Rand can be attractive to youth in Montreal. This date will mark the 109th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s birth in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Youth for Liberty is Canada’s newest group to join the Students for Liberty movement, a worldwide network with over 1,000 campus groups in over 40 countries. The simple fact that SFL is expanding to countries like Venezuela, where liberties are severely restricted, and even Africa, was an inspiration.
It is an unquestionable fact that young people are attracted by liberty. This was witnessed during the 2008 US presidential primaries and the youth movement that followed the campaign of Ron Paul — the godfather of the liberty movement in the United States. In Canada, there are no such comparable champions of liberty right now.
The current situation in Quebec further justifies the creation of this group. There are a few disorganized groups that discuss libertarian ideals, but none that appeal to young people in a more organized format with pub nights and speakers, or movie nights with films that depict important issues related to liberty.
The local group will focus on four realms of liberty: economic, social, academic, and technological. We want to defend an alternative point of view to the status quo and the welfare state. We believe that altruism and generosity are wonderful qualities, when one is not under coercion. Liberty is a way of life, and that is what attracts young people to the liberty movement.
We do not hesitate to quote former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier who once said, “Canada is free and freedom is its nationality.”
An earlier version of this article appeared on the Students for Liberty blog.