Communicating Your Concerns About Tuition Increases to Government Ministers

The Québec government continues to advocate that students will pay their fair share for higher education with the tuition increases, which they rhetorically refer to as an investment towards high salaries in the future.

The report, Do we really need to raise tuition fees? was researched by Éric Martin & Simon-Tremblay-Pépin and produced by the Institut de recherche et d’information socio-économique (IRIS). It provide eight arguments that contradict the rhetoric presented by the Minister of Education Line Beauchamp, Prime Minister Jean Charest and all other government ministers.

We have an opportunity to share this informative report with our elected representatives to help them understand our position. For the sake of persistence, we can send a series of emails to every minister by copy-pasting each of the eight arguments into emails to each of the ministers listed below. One email per argument per minister (8 arguments x 9 ministers = 72 emails OR 8 arguments x 9 cc’ed ministers = 8 emails). These are computational suggestion but any distribution formula is encouraged.

Line Beauchamp (Minister of Education):
line.beauchamp@mels.gouv.qc.ca / 514 328-6006

Marguerite Blais (Minister responsible for seniors / COMS Joint PhD graduate):
m.blais@aines.gouv.qc.ca / 514 933-8796

Raymond Bachand (Minister of Finance):
ministre@finances.gouv.qc.ca / 514 482-0199

Jean Charest (Prime Minister and – ha! – “Minister of Youth Issues”):
email form online here / 819 569-5646

Yolande James (Minister of Families):
ministre.famille@mfa.gouv.qc.ca / 514 626-1749

Yves Bolduc (Minister of Health and Social Services):

ministre@msss.gouv.qc.ca (general email) / 418 682-8167

Julie Boulet (Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity):
ministre@mess.gouv.qc.ca (general email) / 1 800 567-2996

Christine St-Pierre (Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women):
circonscription@mcccf.gouv.qc.ca / 514 337-4278

Dominique Vien (Minister of Social Services):
ministre.deleguee@msss.gouv.qc.ca / 1 866 504-3294

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Classes & Activities Cancelled by Concordia Administration Frees Students & Faculty to Participate in Demonstration

Buildings closed and activities cancelled on Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses all of Thursday, March 22, 2012.

The following is a joint statement from the GSA and the CSU:

Earlier today, Concordia University announced that the University will close its doors on 22 March 2012 in respect of the province-wide demonstration against tuition hikes. Despite assertions of “business as usual” the message is clear: the strike is real and the strike is working.

Faculty, staff, and the wider community, are joining students in bringing the failure of the Charest government’s education policies to public light. Concordia students are coming together not only to protest what we feel deeply to be an injustice, but also to fulfill our legacy as members of a university that has earned nationwide respect for passionate engagement with and dedication to our wider community, locally, nationally, and globally.

We commend the University for removing the dilemma for students who have chosen not to participate directly in the strike for their own private reasons. With the suspension of classes and all other campus activity, all Concordia students, faculty, and staff who are against the tuition hikes can feel free to express their support of the strike without risk.

We would also like to congratulate Concordia’s administration for taking a responsible approach in minimizing the risks associated with the large crowds expected to gather around Concordia’s Sir George Williams campus Thursday morning. We expect thousands of people to fill the streets around Concordia on Thursday, including thousands of members of the Concordia community. As fraught as such situations can be we know from recent experience that students, and Concordia students in particular, will not be in a mood anger, but one of celebration of our successes and of resolve in achieving our aims.

We look forward to one of the largest demonstrations in the history of Quebec, a proud day for the students of Quebec, and a proud day for everyone at Concordia University.

Lex Gill, President
Concordia Student Union

Robert Sonin, President
Graduate Students’ Association of Concordia University

Your Luck Has Run Out Charest: Art Supplies & Activism Against Tuition Hikes

What do you get when you take cardboard, paint & brushes, egg cartons, sparkles, garland, friends & colleagues, a bit of determination and possibly a glass of wine?: Good discussions, political involvement and the possibility for resistance & social change.

Craft night against the tuition hike in Québec.

“The necessity of reform mustn’t be allowed to become a form of blackmail serving to limit, reduce, or halt the exercise of criticism. Under no circumstances should one pay attention to those who tell one: “Don’t criticize, since you’re not capable of carrying out a reform.” That’s ministerial cabinet talk. Critique doesn’t have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, “this, then, is what needs to be done.” It should be an instrument for those for who fight, those who resist and refuse what is. Its use should be in processes of conflict and confrontation, essays in refusal. It doesn’t have to lay down the law for the law. It isn’t a stage in a programming. It is a challenge directed to what is.”   ― Michel Foucault, The Essential Foucault

Craft night against the tuition hike in Québec.

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”   ― Mahatma Gandhi

Craft night against the tuition hike in Québec.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   ― Margaret Mead

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