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Student rumble in Quebec City - Dec. 6, 2010

Posted by Erin / December 3, 2010

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For those of you out there who are students (undergrad, grad, post-grad) or care about tuition increases, some serious shit is going down on Monday. As many as 44,000 students from all over the province will be gathering in Quebec City to protest upcoming tuition increases. You can hitch a ride on one of the many buses heading there Monday morning, or attend simultaneous actions in Montreal.

There are a couple of issues at stake for students. Not only is the government increasing tuition, they're not exactly consulting students. Several lobby group have seats at this December 6 meeting/announcement but the private sector has more. (So the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante - the more left wing lobby group - is boycotting the meeting.) There's a lot of concern that people aren't going to be able to afford education anymore.

While some of you might think that a few hundred or few thousand dollar increase isn't a lot, there are some larger idealogical issues that are troubling. It was recently pointed out to me by Julius Grey that what's going on these days at most universities - from corporatization to a lack of financial aid - is a dismantling of the French Revolution, (liberté, egalité, fraternité), as we've already undone the Russian Revolution (via free trade/ Facebook).

If you're still a heartless capitalist not convinced, at least check out the photos on Tuesday. So far 25 student unions have voted to strike on Monday, and 11 more have upcoming strike assemblies. Many student unions will be bussing students to Quebec City, and even those that aren't officially on strike, like McGill. So expect at least one effigy, and a whole lot of signs. Hopefully, they will show up the British in terms of turnout. (Without the fire?)

Can't make it for the showdown? Don't worry. There will be some simultaneous actions in Montreal, like course walkouts and strikes. Just take a walk over to your local university or CEGEP and you can join in.

Discussion

4 Comments

Arad M / December 8, 2010 at 12:51 am
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They are not increasing the tuitions fees to increase the wages of the teachers, nor the quality of the equipments. They have already implemented a freeze on education spending and have cut the budget of all CEGEPs until the end of 2011. Plus, Raising tuitions fees wont fix the roads, and wont improve health care.

The increase in tuition fees is directed towards lowering the staggering debt of this province. Sure, I'd be for increase in tuition fees if the cause of the debt was education (which it is). But is it the main cause?

The cause of this debt is the mismanagement of the taxes, the extreme number of public employees Quebec has, the wasting money on having twin offices (example- Immigration Canada and Immigration Quebec), the poor allocation of provincial construction contracts (and the lack of competition for them), the bonuses paid to Charest and his pals (both the reported 75,000$ per year and the unreported amount many suspect the liberal to be engaged in).

Now Quebec had by far the highest tax rate in Canada (As ofcourse, has by far the cheapest education). Now what Chrest wants to do is to increase the tuitions to the national average (which realistically and hopefully won't happen, but it also won't be far from). This means that the tuitions will increase (optimistically) by about $1,600 to $2,415 in a year and this is a very sharp jump.

Now consider that since 2007 tuitions have increased by 50$ per semester until 2012. Small Amount isn't it? Well according to FEUQ, 13,000 students are now unable to attend university because of this small increase.

I'm not saying this is black and white matter. What I'm saying is that by allowing this government to take away from one of the most financially fragile sections of the population, we are also allowing them to continue with their corruption.

What I'm saying is that it simply doesn't make sense to pay the highest tax rates and the same tuitions fees as other provinces.

What I'm saying is that why should the biggest and 2nd most populated province of Canada, while receiving $8 billion per year from equalization payments taken out of Alberta's mouth, also carry the largest debt per capita in the world after the US.

I say it again, allowing government to raise tuitions means we allow them to continue with their corruption. They will continue to screw us over as long as we give in.

It's funny that they scheduled the day they will make this decision right in the middle of the exam period, knowing this will eliminate the possibility of having student incorporated into the debate.

If they prove to me that they have exhausted all other possibilities to reduce the debt and now need student money, I will gladly contribute. We are far away from that day.

Remember they have introduced a health care fee, a 2% increase in goods and services tax and a fuel tax just this past year. Let's see how they will use this new source of revenue before committing further to their demands.
JoeKY / December 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm
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Everyone in college need to know about <a href="http://www.FreeGrantsForWomen.com";>scholarships and grants</a> in order to NOT have debt when you get out of college!

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