|Denise Martins, right, at an interview with members of Concordia TV.|
Reprinted from the Ontarion
May 22 marked the hundredth day of student strikes in Quebec. The following list of myths and facts will hopefully uncover the truth behind the recent student demonstrations.
I recently spent three days in Montreal with a group of student journalists working around the clock to learn more about the truth behind the strikes.
Quebec students have nothing to complain about because they have the lowest tuition fees in the country.
This is one of the most propagated myths of the strike. The fundamental flaw of this myth is its failure to analyze why Quebec fees are so low. The freeze in tuition fees, along with many other victories, are the result of mass mobilization on behalf of the student movement. A ten-year freeze was won in 1996 through a student strike in Quebec, and an attempt to convert student bursaries into loans in 2005 was stopped the same way. Students in English-speaking Canada have long been able to point to the Quebec model of accessibility where students graduate with a debt a fraction the size of those in other provinces. The erosion of Quebec students’ right to education will hurt our ability to demonstrate that alternatives are possible.