Where: N.B. Legislature Building in Fredericton
When: Wednesday, June 6, 8 pm
What: Bring a metal pot and a wooden spoon or anything that makes some
noise to sound out your support for the Quebec student movement!
Why: In NB, students pay the second highest tuition in the country.
How: Bus, bike, car pool, walk, thumb a ride - just get there!
In March 2011, Jean Charest's Quebec Liberal Party announced plans in
their 2011-2012 budget to increase Quebec university fees by $325 per
year over 5 years. The current average tuition would increase by 75%
Beginning February 13, 2012, students associated with one of Quebec's
student federations walked out of their classes to protest proposed
tuition increases. 15,000 students had joined the strike by 23 February,
70,000 by the end of that month and 250,000 by the middle of March.
Striking students from colleges, and universities held a vote, demanding
that the government rescind the planned fee increases and place a
freeze on fees before returning to class.
With the collapse of
negotiations between student groups and the government, the evening of
Thursday, May 31st, was another evening of noisy protest throughout
Quebec in dozens of cities and towns. In Montreal alone, there were
several dozen actions taking place, the largest of which, according to
Radio Canada, gathered more than 10,000 people. In Quebec City, police
moved on a large protest and arrested participants.
In trying to prevent further protest, the Charest government adopted Bill 78, seeking to restrict freedom of assembly, protest, or picketing on or near
university grounds, and anywhere in Quebec without prior police
approval. The law also places restrictions upon education employees
right to strike. It was drafted by members of the Quebec Liberal Party,
introduced by Education Minister Michelle Courchesne, and passed with
the support of the Coalition Avenir Québec party in response to ongoing
student protests over proposed tuition increases.
Just as in Quebec, so too
across Canada, a rising popular movement is emerging to demand not only
quality education but a different vision for society than the
destructive, dog-eat-dog model of the country's present rulers.
How is this significant for Frederictonians?
Besides the high tuition charged by two local universities, there is a parallel to Bill 78 in Fredericton. On Monday,
April 23rd, the Mayor and City Council passed by-law L-12, an
'emergency' by-law against protesting in parts of Fredericton,
especially Phoenix Square and Officer's Square.
For more information go to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/417833678237364/