Students across Quebec will head to the polls this week to decide whether to accept the latest bursary proposal from the provincial government.
On Saturday, Quebec Education Minister Jean-Marc Fournier tabled a new five-year deal in the hope that students would return to school. The proposal calls for $70 million to be returned to the bursary fund next year, and the full $103 million for the remaining four years of the agreement.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Guillaume Payen, a first-year mechanical engineering student at Concordia University. “I hope students vote for the new agreement.”
But the Charest government has made it clear that the extra funds won’t be coming out of the provincial government’s pockets. The new proposal makes no change to the province’s bursary contributions offered in the March 15 deal. The extra funding comes from a federally-funded Millennium Scholarship pilot project.
“It’s a good deal,” said Mathieu Kapitzke, a political science major at Concordia who will be graduating at the end of this semester. He said students shouldn’t complain about bursary cuts when the province’s tuition fees are so low.
“When the students proposed to eliminate tuition altogether, they weren’t being reasonable,” Kapitzke said.
The Coalition de l’Association pour une Solidarite Syndicale