2500 Students Demonstrate in Montreal

    Stop the tuition fee hike!
    March for Education!

    MONTREAL, Nov. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - This afternoon, in downtown Montreal,
more than 2500 students participated in a major demonstration organized by the
United Students of Québec Coalition (CFEN). Under the theme "Stop the tuition
hike! March for Education!" the demonstrators marched to denounce the tuition
increase decreed in June by Jean Charest's Liberal Government. The students
reaffirmed the importance of denouncing the current government measures and
the urgency of proposing a new project for the future of postsecondary
education in Quebec.
    "The tuition fee increase that is currently being imposed on us is not a
solution to the problems universities are experiencing. This is what students
wanted to show today," said Angelica Novoa, representative of the member
associations of the Quebec section of the Canadian Federation of Students
(CFS-Q) within the coalition. "The thousands of young people present on the
street as well as all the ones we represent cannot accept to carry the burden
of the government's disengagement from postsecondary education," added
Ms. Novoa.
    "We hope to remember this day as a new beginning for education in
Quebec," noted Jean-Patrick Brady, representative of the member associations
of the FEUQ within the coalition, before adding: "After uselessly lifting the
tuition freeze, which improves nothing, as well as a false enhancement of
student financial assistance, the government is trying to impose an end to the
financial autonomy of universities. We refuse to allow this debacle, which is
directed by a political party without vision, to continue. It is time to open
the debate and to propose a new pact for postsecondary education!"
    "The college network is crying famine and the accessibility of university
studies is being challenged. Hope is waning for college students and that is
why they are here in large numbers on the street today," noted Geneviève
Bond-Roussel, representative of the student member associations of the FECQ
within the coalition. "Our fight is that of a generation that is rising to
defend the tools for its future!" concluded Ms. Bond-Roussel.
    In regard to the situation of postsecondary education in Quebec, let us
recall the following facts:

    - The increase in tuition fees will barely bring in $75 million over the
      next five years to Quebec universities, which suffer from an under-
      financing of $400 million, and public financing remains stagnant.
    - While many students are seeing their debt burden rise by 30% during
      this period, the government had the nerve to announce a parody of an
      improvement of student financial assistance: indexation of allowable
      expenses for one year only (without attempting to make up for the
      $60 million shortfall of recent years), insufficient lowering of the
      parental contribution, etc.
    - The ancillary fees imposed on students by university administrations
      continue to increase with impunity and without transparency or control.
    - The college network is still under-financed by more than $300 and is
      not benefiting from any reinvestment.
    - Bill 44, recently submitted in the National Assembly, is a circumvented
      way of eliminating the financial autonomy of universities.

    Independent student associations and others, members of the Quebec
Federation of College Students (FECQ), the Quebec Federation of University
Students (FEUQ) and the Quebec section of the Canadian Federation of Students
(CFS-Q) have gathered together within the United Students of Québec Coalition
to organize this major demonstration.

For further information:

For further information: Dany St-Jean, press attaché, FEUQ, office:
(514) 396-3380, Cell: (514) 212-5457; Mathieu Poulin, press attaché, FECQ,
office: (514) 396-3320, Cell: (514) 622-8179

Organization Profile

Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ)

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