10 people arrested at protest against Quebec budget

Tuition hikes a major issue for protesters

10 people were arrested at a large protest against Quebec’s upcoming provincial budget, on Saturday. The budget, which will be tabled this Thursday is expected to include tuition hikes and a $200 per person health care tax.

Organizers estimated the crowd at over 50,000 people (the Montreal police no longer provide crowd estimates). The protest was endorsed by over 150 labour, student and political groups.

Protesters criticized the government’s plan to return to a balanced budget by 2014, saying the government is moving too fast.

“Their obsession with returning to a balanced budget in 2014 is too dangerous,” said Michel Arsenault, president of the Quebec federation of labour. “We want to maintain and improve our social services.”

According to La Presse, the four women and six men arrested, all in their 20s, will face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and carrying a weapon. One of those arrested is prohibited from attending protests. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesperson for the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, a large student lobby group, denounced the arrests as “arbitrary.” There were no other major incidents.

You may notice that most of the links above are in French. With the exception of a brief in the Gazette and a mention on talk radio station CJAD, Montreal’s English-language media don’t appear to have covered the protest at all.

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