ontario news watch

Protesters condemn Quebec plan to double tuition for out-of-province students

MONTREAL — Protesters are marching in downtown Montreal to condemn the Quebec government’s plan to double university tuition for students from other provinces. 

Protest organizer Alex O’Neill, who grew up in Montreal and studies at McGill University, says out-of-province students can’t afford to pay the $17,000 the government wants to charge them next year. 

Many participants at the protest, which stretched the length of two city blocks, wore purple, the colour of Bishop’s University, in Sherbrooke, Que., the province’s only English-language university outside Montreal. 

Sophia Stacey, president of the university’s student association, says she worries Bishop’s will be forced to close if tuition for non-Quebec students is dramatically increased.

The Quebec government says the measure is partially motivated to protect the French language by reducing the number of English-speaking people in Montreal. 

Catherine Bibeau-Lorrain, president of Union étudiante du Québec, a student group with 93,000 members from 11 student unions, says the proposed increase will reduce access to education in the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023. 

The Canadian Press