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STUDENTS ACROSS THE country are facing barriers to access to post-secondary education. Recently, the Charest government in Quebec passed a proposed increase in tuition fees by 75 per cent over the next five years in their budget, imposing new barriers to students in the province. Though their tuition fees will still remain amongst the lowest in the country, this increase will deny over 30,000 Quebec students their right to a post-secondary education.

In the past months, students across the province united in an escalation of events to oppose the tuition fee hike. Currently, there are over 120,000 students on strike as a tactic to oppose the tuition fee increase. This is not the first time Quebec students have engaged in a general strike. In 1968, ‘74, ’78, ’86, ’88, ’90, ’96, and 2005, students were not only victorious in obtaining their demands, but their semesters were not cancelled and no student saw any academic penalty for exercising their right to protest.

The Quebec student movement is organizing a national protest on March 22 in Montreal, which tens of thousands of students are expected to attend. As a show of solidarity, students in Quebec and across the country have been wearing the red square, and changing their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to this symbol. Barriers to access to post-secondary education are an issue that Ontario students understand very well.

The students united will never be defeated.

Emily Niles
First-year international
development and globalization