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Antoine Robitaille June 1, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/351444/le-bal-des-offres-et-des-contre-offres
Government’s first offer: in the words of Education Minister Michelle Courchesne: “lowering their individual contribution to the tuition hike by $35 which would have lowered it to $219 per year.” This was judged as “insulting” by the associations.
Students’ first counter-offer: In the words of Léo Bureau-Blouin, president (until yesterday) of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ): “It consisted of financing the first two years of augmentation of tuition fees via the tax credit that students have a right to. What we were proposing to the government was to maintain the financing of universities as the government wanted […], to find solutions at zero cost, which would mean that we would not be digging in the pockets of taxpayers.
Students’ second counter-offer: Tuesday night, the students proposed the abolition of the Québec Education Savings Incentive program (IQEE). The students reproached the government for not having explore this avenue enough. According to Minister Courchesne, this would have resulted in “a significant intergenerational inequality.” “It was absolutely unacceptable that we abolish this program for families that want to invest in their children’s education,” she declared yesterday.
Government’s final offer. It proposed to reduce the student bill by $100 for the first year, and to obtain the remaining amount equivalent to the hike, of $154, through a partial reduction to the tax credit for tuition and exams, and the hike of $254 would remain in place for the subsequent years. In their press conference, Michelle Courchesne maintained that this consisted of a “major proposition to the students”. It would nevertheless have had the defect, according to her, of penalizing students at the collegial level in vocational training and those at the secondary level in professional training.
Michelle Courchesne’s commentary: “They were obstinate to have two years of a freeze. Because from there, there would have been a Forum. And they, they said to themselves that after, we will again call for a freeze. And for CLASSE, that’s free tuition!”
The government proposed to hold a “Forum over the course of the next academic year” to discuss the future of universities. The Premier maintained that this could happen despite the rupture in negotiations.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.