Quebec students are celebrating following months of historic protest, as the new Quebec government cancelled proposed tuition fee hikes on their first day in power.
The proposed hikes would have seen the cost of post-secondary education rise by 75 per cent over five years in the province. Under the banner of the red square, student organizations and their supporters took to the streets en masse, with marches attracting hundreds of thousands of people. Their campaign lasted into the summer, raising serious questions about access to education and the broader issue of inequality in the province, eventually leading to an election.
CUPE National President Paul Moist offered congratulations to the students:
“This is a historic moment. Through many months of harsh criticism and oppressive government tactics, the students showed incredible solidarity and strength. They showed us that we can make change happen in this country—that the people do have a voice,” said Moist.
“Many CUPE locals proudly donated to the student cause. I think today we can all take a moment and enjoy this victory. But the fight isn’t over.”
Instead of the tuition increase proposed by the Liberal Party, the Parti Québécois government wants to index tuition to the cost of living.
It’s a move that goes against the demands of students who ultimately want free tuition and, in the short term a tuition freeze. The question will likely be raised at the summit on post-secondary education, which Premier Marois has promised to hold.