Demands to Concordia’s Administration from students on strike

Monday, April 9, 2012


Concordia Sacrifices Quality of Teaching, Dismisses Provincial Strike Culture

No course extensions despite significantly reduced class time and historical and cultural tradition of student strikes
7 April 2012 — On Thursday 4 April Concordia’s Dean of Arts and Science Brian Lewis sent a message to department chairs outlining this Faculty’s response to student strikes at Concordia. In a word, that response is: Denial. Denial that students in some departments collectively decided not to attend up to 38.5% of their semester, denial of the standard practices of other Quebec universities, and denial that classes are an integral part of learning. The solutions presented to professors are unacceptable, limited to changing course requirements thus omitting class material, awarding Incomplete or In Progress marks, and submitting marks at a slightly later date.

NOUS - Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

Saturday, April 7, 2012


We are correct in fighting against a world that wants to cut off our wings and tame us through debt and work. This fight is not only a student fight, in fact, it should not be just a student movement, because those who want to raise tuition fees, who will increase them, maybe, those who decided to impose a health tax, those who founded the Plan Nord, those who laid off the workers of Aveos, those who are attempting to lay off the workers of Rio-Tinto Alcan in Alma, those who want to prevent the unionisation of workers of Couche-Tard, ALL those people are the same. They are the same people with the same interests, in the same groups, in the same political parties, in the same economic institutes. Those people are one single elite, a gluttonous elite, a vulgar elite, a corrupt elite, an elite that views education simply as an investment in human capital, that see a tree as simply a piece of paper, and see a child simply as a future employee. Those people have convergent interests, have a convergent political project, and it is against THEM that we must fight, not only against the Liberal government, and I can transmit the greatest wish, I believe, of those students that are on strike: that their strike, that their movement serves as a stepping-stone to a much wider contestation, much deeper, and much...yes....radical contestation against the direction that the Quebec has taken in recent years.

How much does the government stand to gain on the tuition hikes following the measures announced today?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Today, Minister of Education Line Beauchamp and Finance Minister Raymond Bachand announced new measures to be taken in improving the accessibility of education, in line with the planned increase in tuition fees.

They announce an increase in loans to be made available to some families, as well as the possibility of income-based repayment (IBR/RCR).

Just how costly are these measures? It is difficult to say because the two Ministers reveal the numbers only in part, detailing the extent to which loans will be increased, but leaving information surrounding the additional RPR out of the discussion for the moment. It is up to us to evaluate the cost and benefits of these new measures taken by the government.

Why income-contingent loan repayment won’t solve anything

Thursday, April 5, 2012


By Martin Robert

Quite the smokescreen, this income-contingent loan repayment (ICLR) program that was  just proposed by the Charest government! If the strike were to end following this offer, the Liberals would have not only entirely defeated us on the question of tuition increases: they would have also managed to make a decision that increases total student debt - and benefits banks - look like a reasonable compromise.

The Student Strike: The Dangers of Judicialization

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The Quebec student strike movement against the increase in tuition fees has recently taken a turn. Many are seeking court injunctions. Be it the CEGEP in Alma or the Universities of Laval or Montreal, the requests have all had the same goal; either to stop the strike, or hinder political tactics used by students. This is how certain students have attempted to forbid picketing, forcing professors to give their courses no matter the number of students present relative to those on strike, sticking label of 'illegality' of sorts to certain actions undertaken by strikers. As leaders of an organisation that defends, notably, the interests of certain student associations, we cannot but oppose this recent tendency that could have negative major repercussions on the right to protest and on the freedom of expression in Quebec and Canada.

Six Legal Questions about the Student Strike

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


By Lise-Marie Gervais, Education.

Finn Makela is an assistant professor and director of the Common Law and Transnational Law programs at Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of Law.

Le Devoir: Is the strike legal?

Finn Makela: The legislation neither allows nor condemns the strike. The law is simply silent on that question. It does not say it is permitted but it does not say that it is not permitted.

Le Devoir: Are students allowed to picket?

A Letter to Provost Graham – from the faculty

Sunday, April 1, 2012



Dear Provost Graham:

We wish to bring to your attention our concerns about the notice of Friday, 23 March, regarding the “Obstruction of campus facilities and classrooms.” In our view, the shift of policy represented in this document is an unwarranted act of escalation on the administration’s part, and one that has already begun to foster avoidable confrontations between security staff and students. In addition, the new policy violates the spirit of the Code of Conduct, whose primary purpose (Code of Rights and Responsibilities, §V, 26) is to “promote and protect the values of civility, equity, respect, non-discrimination, and an appreciation of diversity as manifested within the University.” Finally, in asking faculty to adopt and implement the administration’s hostile stance towards protesting students, this policy jeopardizes in the name of expediency the relationship between faculty members and students that is at the core of Concordia’s educational mission.

Higher education and immigrants are not market commodities

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

by Free Education Montreal

Despite its claim to multiculturalism, Quebec is becoming an increasingly hostile environment for international students. Since 2008, the provincial government has been allowing universities to increase international tuition by 10% per year. The worst of these hikes came in the 2008-2009 school year, when Quebec decided to completely deregulate international tuition in six programs - meaning universities could increase fees for these students as high as they please. Some universities did not have the basic decency to warn students of increases as high as 50%, with serious consequences for the well-being of these students.

Letter to the newspapers (addressed to Mr. Bachand)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Mr. Bachand,

I just watched your interview on Tout le monde en parle and I would like to return to a few points.

You claim that we, as students, are not doing our fair share, and this is true.  We are not doing our fair share in this world that you, along with your Liberal friends, have turned into a commodity.  You have only one word on your lips, profitability.  You no longer bother to hide, you think you have won and after some fifty years of hard work, you have almost succeeded in transforming the university into a business.  And yes, it is true; we have not done our fair share for the society that you would like to bring about, a frenzied society that destroys the ecological and the social with the unbridled overconsumption of human and natural resources.

We say stop, Mr. Bachand.

If the strike continues, students are certain to win the fight

Sunday, March 25, 2012


By Philippe Dumesnil (The author is Professor of philosophy at the Collège de Valleyfield).

Source: Cyberpresse

Translation source:


Everyone has an opinion on the strike but nobody seems to be addressing the question at the heart of it all: What happens if the Government refuses to change its position and students do not return to class? The answer is of widespread concern, because if the strike continues and snowballs into a something even more large-scale, students are likely to win the fight.

The strike causes serious and costly organizational problems for each of the schools involved, especially in the case of cégeps that have been on strike for over five weeks.

Because of strike’s unforeseen delay and extension, the return to regular courses may be bumped up to mid-June, at which point professors will be beginning the summer season, taking time off from regular teaching. There are several different options facing the student population, then, each with its strong and weak points, but all costly and problematic: firstly, students could demand that schools schedule Saturday make-up classes; or, it could be proposed that the vacation time for professors could be moved to a new date; the winter session could then be extended into mid-june, with summer courses beginning in August. Professors would have to be paid overtime, the number of course lecture days might have to be reduced, etc.

In all cases, this would require complicated negotiations before coming to agreements with local unions. Tampering with the academic schedule would also potentially undermine the quality of coursework, since the summer session would have to be postpones a few weeks, causing a domino effect which would push forward the beginning of the fall session as well.

In the universities themselves, the mere though of the majority of faculty members having to renegotiate the contracts of lecturing staff points to the incredibly magnitude of the effects of the strike and the problems present.

If these complications are taken into consideration along with the difficulties of the administrative blocks and the negotiation of support and maintenance staff schedules it is clear that the Government will eventually have no choice but to negotiate.