People are asking me why I’m not blogging about the student protests in Quebec, so here is my contribution to that discussion.
The students are protesting the plans to raise their tuition by $325 per year (my links here are in French.) Right now, the cost of tuition in Quebec is the lowest in Canada. Students from the province pay about $3,000 per year to study at McGill University, one of the best universities in the world and my alma mater.
These students are smart enough to realize that this apparently small tuition hike is only the beginning. If they don’t fight this, very soon their tuition will reach the much higher education costs of other provinces.
Now I have to remind you that the people of Quebec pay a whole lot of taxes. I mean a shitload of taxes. They should be getting something in return, such as, for example, accessible higher education for their children. These insane amounts of money they pay in taxes should not be going to feed the fat cats of the humongous and constantly growing federal and provincial bureaucracy. This proposed tuition hike is an absolute disgrace and anybody who has seen a tax return of a Quebecois person will have to agree.
The only reason why my sister and I were able to get a great education in Montreal as new immigrants fresh off the airplane is that the tuition was very accessible. Now we are both very productive members of society. My sister has her own business in Quebec, and you know what? She pays a shitload of taxes and, since the business is growing, creates jobs for other residents of Quebec. Who, then, also pay a lot of taxes. Shouldn’t she, at the very least, have the certainty that her daughter will be able to afford to go to college without incurring a ruinous debt?
This is a crucial moment in the history of Quebec. The people of my beautiful province do not deserve to have the rights they’ve been working so hard to acquire stripped away from them by money-hungry bureaucrats. The suggestion by the government that there isn’t enough money to maintain the current tuition rates is ludicrous. There is money aplenty. And it should be up to the people of Quebec to decide whether they prefer to feed the bureaucrats or educate their own children.