PQ says it would reverse tuition fee increases
Published Monday, November 14, 2011 1:45PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:34AM EDT
QUEBEC - The Parti Quebecois would reverse the Quebec government's proposed increase in tuition fees and reinstate a freeze on future increases if it takes power in the next provincial election.
PQ spokeswoman Marie Malavoy says students deserve a break after absorbing five annual fee increases of $100.
The PQ stand comes after more than 200,000 students went on a two-day strike last week over the hikes and protested in the streets.
The governing Liberals ordered fee hikes totalling $1,625 over the next five years in the last provincial budget.
Fees have been frozen for about three decades and the government insists universities need the money.
Quebec has, by far, the lowest tuition fees in Canada and even with the current increases would continue to have the lowest.
The government has also said it will increase loans and bursaries for students. It calls the current system unfair, saying university students wind up making more money and they're having their education subsidized by the less wealthy.
Malavoy says the PQ would, in addition to abolishing the hikes and bringing in the freeze, convene a forum on education funding that would involve all stakeholders.
However, the PQ has stayed away from the idea of making education free --a proposal that has long been popular within the party.
The PQ plan comes as Quebec gets a new centre-right political party -- the Coalition For Quebec's Future -- which has made education one of its priorities.