Massive student protests against tuition hikes in Quebec are degenerating into one of the broadest social crises to hit the Canadian province in three decades.
The protests, which began four months ago, are now posing serious challenges to Quebec’s civil society, the state-funded BBC Persian reports.
The students never accepted the government’s justification of its plans to increase tuition fees by 82 percent over seven years. They believe that higher tuition fees would impose further debts on them.
In recent years, the government has been accused of financial corruption and misusing public funds. Therefore, a widening gap has emerged between the government and the students, who are increasingly distrustful of the power structure in the country.
They blame the government’s financial mismanagement for the budget deficit Canada is faced with.
The student strikes did not remain limited to campuses and the protests spilled over onto the streets across the province.
In reaction, the Quebec Liberal government passed Bill 78, a draconian law criminalizing the student strike.
The Quebec law, whose main objective was to restrict freedom of assembly, sets rules for gatherings of more than 50 people as it requires organizers to provide an eight-hour notice of the itinerary and length of the event.
The law drew massive protests in the major cities of Quebec, with the protestors considering the law as a declaration of war on civil freedoms stipulated in Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The persistence of street protests and chaos seems to be playing well into the hands of non-democratic and extremist elements seeking to hijack the student movement.
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