FEUQ student group declares victory
Martine Desjardins of the university student union FEUQ, answers reporters questions before entering a meeting with other students unions and the Minister of Education Michelle Courchesne Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
MONTREAL - A PQ ministerial decree cancelling tuition hikes, taken barely 24 hours after Pauline Marois was elected premier, is being hailed as a victory by the Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ).
FEUQ President Martine Desjardins considers the decree to be the symbolic end of a two-year battle but she vows that the work is not yet finished, as the group intends to make other proposals at the upcoming summit of higher education promised by the Parti Quebecois.
The next step is to attract support for the measures from opposition parties, as a minority government scenario requires.
Desjardins has asked FEUQ members to write proposals for the upcoming summit, which the PQ promised to announce or hold within the first 100 days of its mandate.
Jean Charest's departure also represents a chance to change the FEUQ’s relationship with the Liberals, according to Desjardins, although she said that she had no objections to Charest personally, only against his government’s policies.
“We were certainly very present in Charest’s Sherbrooke riding to ensure that he wouldn’t be re-elected, as he was by a small minority as he was in the 2008 elections,” she said.
Unlike its confreres from the CLASSE student group, the FEUQ is not asking for free education, but is now focusing on trying to ease the conflict with the government.
Desjardins said that FEUQ seeks to strike a consensus with the government, “which will then help us rally the entire population,” she said.
-With a file from The Canadian Press