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Vol. 76/No. 15      April 16, 2012

Quebec students:
‘No to tuition hikes!’
MONTREAL—Students, teachers and others filled the streets here March 22 to protest the Quebec government’s imposition of a 75 percent tuition fee increase over five years.

The demonstration stretched for nearly two and a half miles. Police estimated 100,000 participated. Buses brought demonstrators in from all corners of Quebec.

“There are people who won’t be able to go to university if the hikes go through, and others who will spend the rest of their lives paying back their debts,” University of Montreal student Irina Badita told the Militant.

In a proposed budget presented March 20 Quebec’s Liberal Party government plans to eliminate its $70.1 billion deficit within two years.

Beginning next autumn tuition fees will go from $2,168 a year to $3,793 by 2017, with annual increases of $325.

As a result of previous student strikes against government efforts to raise fees going back decades, Quebec university fees are the lowest in Canada and have remained unchanged for 33 of the last 43 years.

The student organizations with formal backing of Quebec’s three main union federations have vowed to keep up the pressure by continuing the protest actions.  
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