Photo: flickr: ricardoaraujoara
The Canadian province of Quebec saw a huge conflict between students and the Jean Charest’s regional government this year over a proposed tuition hike.Despite the fact they pay unusually low fees for Canada (or anywhere else in North America), Quebec’s student unions refused to accept the tuition fee rises (which would have resulted in a total of around CA$3,793). Students went on strike, with incredibly large and sometimes violent marches taking place on the streets of Montreal becoming a regular occurrence. Some of these marches featured as many as 400,000 people — a number that really makes Occupy Wall Street look like small potatoes.
It now looks a lot like the students have won.
Charest’s Quebec Liberal Party was voted out of office earlier this month. They were replaced with Parti Quebecois, a separatist party that had pledged to reevaluate the fees.
According to the Globe and Mail, on her first day on the job new Premier Pauline Marois cancelled the tuition fee hikes and repealed the controversial Loi 78 law that sought to ban the student marches.
Student leaders are celebrating. From yesterday’s Montreal Gazette:
“It’s a total victory!” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which is the largest student association with about 125,000 students. “It’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation.”
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