Hour Community

Students mobilizing to strike: Students strike back

Students strike back

Readying for round two

Throughout Quebec, CÉGEP and university students are organizing for action against the Liberal government of Jean Charest.

A series of student assemblies have taken place in recent weeks on the possibility of launching an unlimited general student strike throughout the province. The Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), a coalition of student unions in Quebec representing approximately 40,000 students, is pushing for province-wide action.

"Multiple student associations have voted for an unlimited strike, including eight major student associations representing approximately 16,000 students in Quebec," explains Marianita Hamel, an organizer on the executive council of ASSÉ.

Quebec’s student movement remains a vital social and political force. In 2005, students throughout the province staged an unlimited general strike lasting for months.

After a series of major street demonstrations, students halted Liberal government efforts to change a $103-million provincial student grant program into a loan program. According to ASSÉ, the removal of millions from Quebec’s student grant program would have led to nearly a doubling of the debt of the poorest students in the province.

ASSÉ’s current efforts to push for strike action in Quebec is rooted in multiple demands, including the continued freeze on student tuition in Quebec and also the overarching principled demand for free access to post-secondary education in Quebec.

"Charest’s vision of post-secondary education is rooted in an idea that education is a product to be bought and sold," explains Hubert Gendron-Blais, the media spokesperson for ASSÉ.

"The Liberal government of Quebec views education as a personal investment for future employment, not as a path for personal and social development for the betterment for all society," he continues. "In ASSÉ our vision of education is totally the opposite, as we believe that education is a collective right which should be accessible to everyone, if you can pay or if you can’t pay the economic price."

For full details on ASSÉ, visit: www.asse-solidarite.qc.ca.

Posted in


Share it


  • by Myriam Sainson - October 25, 2007, 1:53 pm

    You are right. The student associations and unions are vital in our democratic society. We have to support their strike against the governement and particulary, against the Education Minister who don’t do nothing to ameliorate our education system. The education has to be free to access like some European countries, France, for an example. No more student tuitions. No more this complicated programs of loans which brings a lot of debts nightmares for the students. All the education system must be free for the students, with boursery programs. The governement has to revise all their unwanted programs and to rethink them completely. The governement will have, instead, to finance directly the educational public institutions as CEGEP, Universities. The money they loan to the students should go as a loan to the institutions.

  • by Reuven De Souza - October 29, 2007, 11:54 am

    I think that somewhere between the propaganda that are those condescending ads from the McGill Student Society on tv and some of the more right wing comments in the Gazette lies the heart of the matter.
    I am pretty sure that you still get out of your life what you put into it. And life really is never easy is it? So despite having far and away the lowest tuition in North America and some of the finest institutions on the continent in UofM, McGill, HEC,etc there are still complaints! Enough!
    As someone who as benefited from the loans and bursaries programs that are in place I can assure you that it is quite possible for those with the mindset and determination to attend university. You just have to want it to achieve it.
    Sicne when is viewing education as an investment for future employment such a bad thing in the First World. After all we are so very very fortunate to be living here and to have all this at out disposal. Greedy myopic groups like ASSE give the whole scholastic effort a bad name.
    Why is so very hard for these groups to see the forest through the trees?

  • by Steve Boudrias - October 31, 2007, 8:03 pm

    Like Reuven De Souza said in a previous comment about that future strike organized by student associations, I really doubt that this is a serious matter to think about right now.

    According to all the issues that are really problematic in the province of Quebec, the actual status of all the students attending CEGEP and universities are way overrated and wrongfully misrepresented.

    1) the actual financial system that provide financial ressources is actually covering a lot of young people that wants to go further in their scholarship progression ;

    2) it is a fact that the loans and bursaries programs are sometimes not in touch with the actual situation of certain students (for example : young fellows that are living on their own – sometime with a child – without any parental support but who are being asked to beg their parents to pay any scholar fees) ;

    3) it is a pure stupidity to think that university accessibility is passing absolutly by general free superior schooling because it takes for grtanted that everyone needs that kind of background studies ;

    4) we are lacking a truckload of people in the tecnical fields everywhere and we are still sending the message to the youth that if you wanna become someone in a society, you must go to university and make a degree – wich is leading us to a total absurdity because we realize that a lot of university graduates end up in McJob situation to pay their depts after chasing a carreer dream that cannot be realized ;

    5) why is it so difficult to admit – in an information based society – that school is NOT the only way to get good knolwedge, intellectual recognition and essentials skills to accomplish yourself during your life ?

    After saying that, what can we say about those student movements that are preparing or fooling other students about their real objectives as trouble maker in development ?

    Maybe we can say that a democratic way to put this straight is to get elected by every one to represent !

 Add a comment

Required (will not be published)