Quebec government, student leaders to meet today

Members of Quebec’s Liberal government and student leaders will be meeting this afternoon in Quebec City to discuss the proposed university-fee increases that have been the cause of weeks of unrest in the province.

According to La Presse, the government has asked Education Minister Michelle Courchesne to “put an offer on the table” for the students at today’s meeting.

From Canadian Press:

Leo Bureau-Blouin, the head of one student group, said Sunday the talks represent a “last chance” for the government to put an end to the conflict.

“If we don’t succeed in coming to an agreement acceptable to both sides, I think it will be very hard to come out of this crisis, because the students are no longer in class and the social climate is becoming more and more heated,” he said.

Today’s talks might also mark the last chance for Quebec to restore its image on the eve of the summer tourist season. As mentioned on today’s Montreal Gazette:
With [Montreal’s] summer festival season only days away, businesses are crossing their fingers that negotiations between student leaders and the Quebec government, which resume Monday, will bring an end to the 16-week crisis and return the province to its fun-loving self.

Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of the Quebec Employers’ Council, said the nightly marches and pot-banging have had an impact mainly in the downtown core, where merchants and restaurants have noticed a drop in customers.