Now that the minority Quebec government has put power in the hands of whatever two of three parties can agree on, it looks like tuition in this province is finally going to (formally) increase. The Liberals promised a small hike, and the ADQ’s platform is in favour of tuition hikes. Only the PQ is in favour of keeping the freeze intact.
This is, of course, horrible news for student groups, to whom students pay huge amounts of money to represent their interests – chief among them being tuition. ASSÃ‰, the more militant student group, has already called for yet another unlimited student strike this fall. (I’d link to the English version, but their English site hasn’t been updated in two years.)
Some people are pointing out that the tuition hikes were open platform points for both parties, and the issue was heavily debated before the election. People want to raise tuition (in as much as voters can “want” any single issue in this electoral system).
The problem is that these groups are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can’t do nothing, or else their power to put fear into politicians’ hearts will fade (pressure from these groups is what has kept tuition this low for so long). On the other hand, cry wolf too often and nobody takes you seriously any more. ASSÃ‰ especially has been very quick on the “strike” trigger (which is made worse by the fact that student “strikes” don’t actually cause financial or labour problems for the government), and this has led to many groups (including the Concordia Student Union) dropping ASSÃ‰ in favour of the less militant and more negotiating FEUQ.
So even though ASSÃ‰ is silly to call this strike, they must do so in order to save face.