Quebec court stalls international tuition hike at Concordia

Concordia Student Union going back to court next week to seek permanent injunction


The Quebec Superior Court put the breaks on a plan to hike international student tuition at Concordia University, a move the Concordia Student Union is calling a legal victory.

The court issued a ten-day safeguard order that freezes the planned 10 per cent tuition hike for international students at the 38,000-student university. The increase would have seen international students taking a full course load pay an additional $920 to $1045 each year.

The court order is related to the Board of Governor’s meeting where the decision was made, which occurred via teleconference on June 27. The vote on the increase was originally scheduled for the Board’s regular June 19 meeting. However, the vote was delayed after student representatives filibustered the meeting by leaving so that the board would lose quorum.

The Concordia Student Union maintained the Board did not have the authority to conduct a meeting by teleconference and went to the courts seeking a ruling that the meeting was illegal.

Today’s decision merely delays the decision in order to protect the interests of both parties, according to Christine Mota, director of media relations for Concordia University. “There was no decision on the legality for illegality of the meeting.” The university maintains the meeting was legal.

The student union is hailing the injunction as a victory. “If it [the meeting] was legal, we wouldn’t have got the injunction,” says Elie Chivi, vice-president communications of the Concordia Student Union. He says the union will be back in court later this week to seek a permanent injunction against the increase with a ruling that the Board of Governor’s meeting was illegal.

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Quebec court stalls international tuition hike at Concordia

  1. With respect to the Concordia Student Union, who are certainly doing something novel and interesting here, Elie Chivi’s interpretation of what this ruling means is way off base. Winning an interim injunction suggests the court believes there is at least some merit to the claim that the meeting in question was illegal. In other words, the suggestion isn’t completely ridiculous. But that’s a wide margin away from actually winning the argument. I mean, that much is obvious even to a layperson who knows nothing about the law. If the interim decision was based on the full merits of the case, there wouldn’t be a need for a real judgment at all.

    All that aside, I especially applaud the student representatives who filibustered the original meeting. If they were even able to destroy quorum by walking out that’s got to mean that a lot of people weren’t there. I don’t necessarily think that students should wield a balance of power at every decision-making table, but if the people who are on the Board can’t be bothered to show up then they bloody well deserve to be embarrassed for it. Student power is often best deployed to ensure those in positions of authority are using it wisely and responsibly. It’s rare to see a really good move that does that, but walking out to prevent the decision in this case does just that.

    I hope the decision is found to be illegal. It depends entirely on the Board’s by-laws and Constitution. But it would make me smile. It doesn’t prevent the same decision being made in the future, but it would ensure it must be done openly and honestly, and by people who are taking the time to do it properly.

  2. Pingback: Concordia raises tuition fees paid by international students : Macleans OnCampus

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