Quebec students sue 25 universities and colleges

Suit says not enough done to allow access to classes


A class-action lawsuit is being organized by young Quebecers frustrated because they say they were hurt by the province’s student strikes.

The motion to sue 25 universities and junior colleges, as well as the Quebec government, was announced Thursday by students and their lawyers.

The plaintiffs say not enough was done to let them have access to their classrooms and complete their courses.

One says she will get her nursing diploma six months late, which will cost her financially.

“I incurred losses and I’m just asking for a reimbursement,” said the nursing student, Kim Laganiere. “This will delay my entry into the job market by six to 12 months.”

The group’s lawyer is not setting a figure on the amount requested, saying the financial impact varies from one person to the next.

The damage includes loss of salary, lost work experience, lost tuition fees and lost summer jobs, according to lawyer Michel Savonitto.

“These amounts aren’t necessarily very big in some cases but if you add them up it becomes astronomical… A court will evaluate the amount of the damages at the appropriate moment.”

The case may wind up determining whether the right to strike, as laid out in the Labour Code, applies to students. Savonitto said he will argue that there must be some distinction made between the rights of workers and those of students.

The Charest government’s Bill 78 was designed to force classrooms to be reopened and, in most cases, classes are indeed carrying on. But students in a minority of faculties are continuing to strike, and the law is being ignored in some cases.

The issue was expected to dominate the current provincial election, but has played only a minor role.

The Coalition party’s Francois Legault pushed it closer to the forefront during a radio interview Thursday, where he referred to some of the protesters as “thugs.”

The Canadian Press


Quebec students sue 25 universities and colleges

  1. Perhaps they should actually be suing their fellow students (and their associations, related unions, leftist teachers etc.), all of whom actually caused the disruptions in the first place.

  2. Hello Fred,
    I am one of the administrators of Fondation 1625, the organization behind the lawsuit. We have decided to not sue student associations and unions because legally it would weaken our case because the contractual obligations are between the students and the university administrations. We are going to claim that the strike votes of these student associations should not have been respected in the first place. if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us at admin@fondation1625.com

  3. I think it’s despicable that the Charest government would raise tuition for no other reason that “other provinces have to pay more,” which is as intelligent as jumping off the proverbial bridge just because everyone else is doing it. Charest can’t balance the provinces check book so he is grabbing from Peter to pay Paul. Perhaps if Charest himeself, and all those rankled Monrealers, were to be better educated they would see that the real crime done to them is not by students but the liberal government who badly manages the people’s money. Shame on the lawyers for suing he schools because they’re an easier target, there is no excuse for you! When did liberals start ruling the people from the top down? How very Tory-ish. Charest could learn a thing or two from a college-level Quebec history class. If I recall correctly it was the Patriotes who agitated for “responsible government” because the prior system left them dealing with the 19th century version of bad roads and badly educated people… How could the Reds have sunk so low?

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