Quebec students initiate unlimited strike

February 15, 2012

Approximately 11,000 university students in Quebec launched an unlimited strike Tuesday to protest impending tuition fee increases. The number of striking students is expected to double by Monday, and could rise from there as many more student groups hold strike votes over the coming weeks. So far, the striking students are mainly from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and approximately 1,000 from Université Laval. Students from the Université de Montréal, CÉGEP de St. Laurent, and CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal are set to begin an unlimited strike next week. Concordia University students are to vote early next month, while McGill University students have not yet planned a strike vote. At a news conference Tuesday, striking students said they were willing to lose a semester if necessary to stop the planned tuition fee increases. To stop the strike, the students said, the Quebec government must give up its plan to raise tuition fees by $325 annually for 5 years. The last major student strike in Quebec was in 2005, when as many as 200,000 CÉGEP and university students boycotted classes for up to 5 weeks to protest cuts of $103 million to bursaries. The situation is different today, with universities reporting that they are underfunded by $620 million compared to other Canadian universities. Montreal Gazette | CBC