Socialists in the spotlight

Dawson’s socialists organize rally to discuss possible CEGEP tuition fees

by Chris Pike

The Dawson Socialist Students are holding an event on Thursday, February 11, at 6:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker Camilo Cahis, editor of Fightback magazine, who will be addressing the capitalist crisis in Quebec and its effect on students.

Quebec is in the largest deficit in the province’s long history. One of the solutions that the Charest government has proposed is to begin charging tuition for CEGEP students. According to the McGill Daily Finance, Minister Raymond Bachand proposed this idea in October of 2009 adding that the fee would be a “modest” one.

“I think ‘modest’ has a different meaning for them than it does for us,” Xavier Lefebvre Boucher, President of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec said to the McGill Daily, disagreeing with a finance minister.

“With the increase in university rates, there are about 6 000 people a year in Quebec who can’t enroll,” Charlotte Guay-Dussault, spokesperson for the fledgling provincial party Quebec Solidaire also said to the McGill Daily. “I think for CEGEP it’ll be just about the same thing.”

Charest has also expressed that he wants to balance the provincial budget by 2013-2014 citing CEGEP tuition fees as a good first step towards this goal.             

 “The government shouldn’t be looking to the public sector for money,” said DSS club President Alan Beriman. “They should be focusing on the private sector.”

The recession will be a large part of the discussion Thursday night, highlighting the fact that students are affected by the economic downturn just as much as any other group of people.

 “The idea of free CEGEP wasn’t a government proposed idea,” said Chelsea Hemmings secretary of the DSS club. “Quebec students have fought for this and will have to continue to fight if they have to.”

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