Another maple spring?
The radical student group ASSÉ is launching an ultimatum to Quebec's education minister in advance of this month's higher education summit, that includes a promise of more protests if free education isn't on the table.
"Today, ASSÉ sends a final warning to minister (Pierre) Duchesne and asks him to respect his promises towards the summit on higher education," spokesman Jérémie Bédard-Wien told a news conference.
Duchesne and Premier Pauline Marois had promised that free tuition would be on the agenda at the summit but they've since backed away from the idea.
"If the minister is honest, he will respect these engagements and he will meet our conditions. During his summit, everything must be on the table. It is a difference between an open debate and a PR exercise," Bédard-Wien said.
Bédard-Wien said they'll boycott the meeting if free tuition isn't among the options discussed, insisting tuition hikes can't be the only items on the table. ASSÉ will reinforce that at a major demonstration planned for February 26 at Victoria Square. They say expect more protests if they don't get what they want, even if free education is discussed but ruled out at the summit, insisting it's free education or nothing.
"If the summit concludes by indexation of tuition, then ASSÉ will continue to fight against that," Bédard-Wien said.
Bédard-Wien said if the Marois government backtracks on another promise, it will continue to lose credibility.
Photo: Shuyee Lee