Canadian police resorted to tear gas and rubber bullets as a two-month student protest brought chaos to Montreal.
Students are furious at plans to increase tuition fees by 75 percent over five years. They turned out in mass as Quebec’s premier, Jean Charest, delivered a speech on a controversial development plan for the north of the province.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of the student association C.L.A.S.S.E said: “We want a Quebec with accessibility to education. We want a Quebec of social justice and not a Quebec where we sell ourselves to the mining companies.”
Charest’s speech was delayed by 45 minutes but did go ahead. He says he will not negotiate with student associations until they denounce violence.
However some warn that the longer the strikes and demonstrations continue, the longer the list of complaints will grow. Many students are now expressing a general anger over Charest’s government which is already dogged by conflict-of-interest and ethics scandals.