Parti Québécois leader: Tuition hikes, Bill 78 will be repealed
September 5, 2012
Student leaders have been assured by the Parti Québécois that their promise to cancel the tuition hike and repeal Bill 78 will be honoured once the newly elected party takes power in Quebec City.
“We had a call from a PQ aide this morning,” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. “They said they will reimburse any students who have already paid.”
She said the call was a relief for students, who were concerned that a minority PQ government might be blocked from making those changes.
“Although we will really celebrate when there is a decree, this is really a victory for our cause,” said Desjardins.
As many as 200,000 students were boycotting classes this winter and spring as students vehemently protested the Liberals’ plan to proceed with tuition increases of $254 a year for seven years this fall. This showdown with Premier Jean Charest during the “Printemps Érable” was very likely what sparked the unusual call for a summer election.
Desjardins believes social peace is a good possibility with the PQ in power and said students are happily preparing for an Estates General summit on higher education that the PQ promised in its election platform.
“We’ve been asking for that for years,” she said on Wednesday. “It is our best chance to prove we were right and to ensure there is a tuition freeze that endures.”