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Montreal, 20 September 2012:
Following the announcement of the cancelling of the tuition fee increase and the abrogation of the Law 12 (formerly Bill 78), the CLASSE (the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante / Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity) wishes to salute the courage and determination of all those who were active over the last few months. The organisation wishes, at the same time, to recall that this victory is not the end of the struggle, and that the student and popular mobilization must continue.
“If the Parti Québécois is passing today a series of measures which answer to our demands, it is because we have held to our principles, and have defended them with an approach that was combative, yet unifying,” said Camille Robert, co-spokesperson for the CLASSE. “In the future, our approach will win out over any regressive measure.” The CLASSE therefore notes that it remains opposed to any increase in tuition fees, including indexing to inflation. “Education is a public service, which must remain accessible; not a commodity, with a price that varies with the market,” said Jeanne Reynolds, co-spokesperson of the organisation.
In this sense, the CLASSE is approaching the upcoming summit on education with caution. ”The PQ deputies are arguing for the indexing of tuition fees to inflation. Until the results of this summit emerge, the cancelling of the tuition hike is, in a way, a temporary victory. The improvements to the student aid system [of loans and bursaries] must also be maintained beyond the current academic year. It is for this reason that we will remain mobilized”, explained Mme Reynolds. Beyond a summit on the financing [of higher education], the CLASSE insists that there be held an “Estates-General” (Etats-Généraux) which will allow collective reflection on the mission of post-secondary education.
Finally, the CLASSE invites once again the population to join them in the streets of Montreal and Quebec on Saturday the 22 September. “We can be proud of what we have accomplished, but we must bear in mind that the battle for access to education does not end today. In this sense, we continue to defend the idea of free education as a project of society”, concluded Camille Robert.
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.