100 days of student protests in Quebec

Occupy, Anonymous and Michael Moore join students


From Arretezmoiquelquun.com

Quebec student group CLASSE said Monday that it will continue to encourage protests against tuition hikes in the province—at least until students are forced back to classes in August.

They plan to defy Law 78, which passed in the National Assembly on Friday. The law allows for fines of $1,000 to $125,000 for individuals and groups who prevent students from attending classes. It also requires demonstration organizers to inform police in writing of their plans, and has thus been criticized as unconstitutional.

A large protest is planned for Tuesday afternoon in Montreal. It marks 100 days since the first students walked out of classes and joined the “grande grève illimitée” or “unlimited general strike.”

Busloads of protesters left Gatineau this morning to attend the Montreal rally, reports CBC.

Arrests are likely. More than 300 were arrested following an illegal protest on Sunday night in Montreal. At least 20 were injured, including 11 police officers, reports The Canadian Press. Many more were arrested Monday. Mass arrests have become a regular occurrence in the province.

In a move reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street, 3,000 people who oppose Law 78 have posted photos and written messages on a Tumblr website called “Someone Arrest Me.”

The movement is getting extra attention in the United States today. Supporters of Occupy Wall Street are planning a march and a “Free University” demonstration in New York City in solidarity with the Quebec students while Occupy supporters from other cities have Tweeted their support.

Filmmaker Michael Moore Tweeted this on Sunday: “Canadians are in revolt in Quebec over new gov’t law limiting democratic rights. No news of it in US press. Their uprising is inspiring #ggi”

That was before members of the hacking group Anonymous broke into a Quebec government public security website on Monday and warned the government that they ought to be fearful.

Many students in the province have finished their semesters, despite interruptions from protesters who call them “scabs” and have blocked many classes. As of Friday, student associations representing around 25 per cent of students in Quebec considered their members to be on strike.

Much of the anger is over to a tuition fee hike of $1,778 over the next seven years, which Liberal Premier Jean Charest says is non-negotiable. The hike will bring tuition at universities to around $3,800, which is still thousands lower than what it costs in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Student groups rejected a deal their leaders made on May 5 that would have created a council to look for savings in university budgets in exchange for an end to the protests.


100 days of student protests in Quebec

  1. I am against this thang

  2. It cool everybody standing up for this!!! Believe in yourself!

  3. This is ridiculous. When the province of Quebec has the lowest tuition costs in Canada and an increase of $325/yr has caused an out roar, then what happens when a company hires one of these students? They will demand a huge raise? Why don’t they go to another University then to protest against the Quebec government? Wait…it costs more elsewhere. If you have the intellect and the talent, then you can repay your loans back when you go into the workforce with your qualifications. Quebec is not your daddy and it’s time to break the umbilical cord.

    • This seems to be the general feeling for people out of Quebec. This is understandable if you don’t consider the fact out sales taxe is much higher and an average income persone pays 7000$ more per year than everywhere in Canada. Why would workers pay way more taxes for the same education and worse health system. Somewhere, some money is lost and it shouldn’t be the students paying the price.

      • So you have a higher sales tax than NFLD? PEI? NB? NS? The province of Quebec with its ultra low day care costs in the country…did we forget about that? McGill is a well renowned university recognized around the world and overall tuition fees are cheaper than any other province, so what gives?

  4. The university tuition in Quebec ONLY rise to $3800 in five years time.You cannot get in any university program with under $9000 a year in tuition fee.Somehow I wish I should have sent my kids there earlier.Outstanding education with remarkably low tuition fee.The saddest is that our hated harmonised sales tax is not three times lower than your sales tax ! The employment and economic situation is BC is just as DEAD as the rest of Canada.A increase of $325 a year. Not even enough to pay for average public school activity fee here in British Columbia ! Quebec = Heaven !

  5. Subsidising english-canadians’ schooling? that’s another one of those problems this mob aims in tackling. Who pays for the cheap schooling McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s students get? Quebeckers’ taxes. Where’s the vast majority of these students from? I’ll let you guess. Is there a form of exchange for Québec students to study in there language elsewhere in canada? Nope. Ottawa and Laurentian are bilingual institutions, but see the quality; and attendance.

    Yes sales taxes here are the highest, at 15% (equivalent in PEI and NS, but higher than NFL and anywhere else, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_Canada). Compounding canadians’s missunderstanding is the fact that income taxe levels here have nothing to do with canada’s: 16%, 20% and 24%, whilst it typically hovers around 10-15% in canada; see http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html.

    We do get nice public services – this is what we choose- but we pay off for it through taxation and redistribution systems- this is what is called social democracy-. Canadians do not whant that kind of fairness -too bad for you-, but we certainly wont’ give ours away. And most certainly, we will not give our thriving economy away.

    • Nonsense. Quebec get $7.8 billion in equalization and another $9.4 billion in CST and CHT. Without that money (about 25% of total expenditures) Quebec couldn’t afford its level of social services, including low tuition, even at current tax rates. The higher tax rates are needed just to make up for Quebec’s lack of fiscal capacity due to lower than average incomes and GDP per capita. The ‘higher than elsewhere’ social spending is a gift from taxpayers in Western Canada.

      • And you sir are uninformed. Between transfer payments and other programs, there are only three province which, from the federal, get less money per citizen than Quebec (Al., Ont., and B.-C.). Also, the runner-up, Saskatchewan, gets 50% more money per citizen. And if we only count transfer payments, Quebec is still the just behind Ontario at 943$ per citizen vs 249 for Ontario, 1 347 for N.S. (runner-up) and 2 378 for P.E.I. (worst). By the way, before 2008, Quebec was giving money to the other province.

        Secondly, saying that 15 billion is 25% of the total budget is wrong. Quebec’s revenue (without transfer payments) is about 70 billion. Even without counting them, your 15 billion do not represent 25% of the budget.

        And thirdly, while the tuition fees seem low in Quebec, the real price of a session is about 1500$ more than the Canadian average. The biggest problem comes from the universities themselves which, while being financed at around 75 percent by the government, continue to spend money where they should not; a substantial proportion (no precise number here, some authors say 10% but others go as high as 70%) of the money that should be used to compensate for the low tuition fees is used to fund private research.