James Clancy, NUPGE National President, condemned Bill 78, calling it a repressive law which imposes unconstitutional limits on the fundamental rights and freedoms of assembly, association and expression.
Ottawa (22 May 2012) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is urging the Charest government to agree to independent mediation to help resolve the ongoing dispute with students in Quebec.
More than 170,000 post-secondary students have been on strike for 15 weeks over the government's decision to increase tuition fees by 75% over the next 5 years.
Since the start of the dispute the government has refused to negotiate in good faith and instead has sought court injunctions and used threats in an attempt to force students back to school.
Just last Friday, the government rammed emergency legislation (Bill 78) through the National Assembly which sets strict regulations governing public protests and student groups that organize them, including heavy financial penalties (up to $125,000) for violations.
James Clancy, NUPGE National President, condemned Bill 78, calling it a "repressive law which imposes unconstitutional limits on the fundamental rights and freedoms of assembly, association and expression."
"All Canadians should be shocked and concerned by the Charest government's attack on the fundamental rights of students and all Quebecers."
"Bill 78 has only escalated the dispute. The Charest government must stop bullying students, rescind the legislation and agree to help from an independent mediator."
For the last twenty years, NUPGE has called on the federal government to pass legislation (a Canada Post-Secondary Education Act) to establish criteria which would ensure the affordability, accessibility, quality, accountability and public administration of post-secondary education across the country. The evidence is clear that sky-high tuition fees and debt increase income inequality and harm Canada's society and economy.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE