Representing over 90,000 students in the province, the Quebec Student Union says the CAQ’s new plan to hike tuition fees for out-of-province students is unreasonable and unacceptable.
The union mostly represents students in French-language institutions.
It says there are plans underway to protest the recent announcement.
“An open letter will be coming, a petition also, some of the association want to do mobilization in the field,” said Catherine Bibeau-Lorrain, president of the Quebec student union. “We will keep in touch with them and support them in all of this.”
On Tuesday, Premier François Legault said that nearly doubling tuition for out-of-province students is not an act against anglophones, but a move to stop the decline of French.
Tuition is set to rise to about $17,000 a year from the current $8,992. International students will have to pay $20,000.
The plan has been denounced by Quebec’s three English-language universities, McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s, which say the move will have serious consequences.
And the business community agrees, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce says the hike will be a serious blow to Quebec’s reputation and economy.
“Foreign students and those students coming from the rest of Canada, on average they spend about half a billion dollars in the economy every year,” said Michel Leblanc, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce president. “Just like tourists do. they eat, they sleep, they rent housing.”
Montreal’s mayor reiterated those thoughts on Wednesday, saying she’s also concerned about the economic impact of the tuition plan.
“If this government strongly believes in a strong economy, reducing the gap between Ontario and Quebec, I have to say, this measure…will support…more people going to Toronto universities, let’s be honest,” said Valérie Plante.