Quebec student wins $1,220 over anti-tuition "strike"

Protesters blocked Marc-Antoine Dumas from classes

Marc-Antoine Dumas, a former Laval University student, has won $1,220 in small claims court from his former history students’ association to cover lost tuition fees after he was repeatedly blocked from attending his classes by protesters last year and forced to drop his semester, reports CBC.

Student groups across Quebec held meetings last spring to vote on whether to skip classes and join widespread protests (which they called strikes) against a tuition hike of $1,625 over five years. Because student leadership was in favour of joining the protests, those opposed faced hostility at the meetings where students voted by show of hands. Most didn’t attend, but that didn’t stop groups like the Concordia Students’ Union from declaring themselves “on strike,” encouraging protesters to block whoever tried to attend classes. The CSU’s strike vote included only about five per cent of undergraduates. Dozens of protesters blocked students who tried to write their final exams there.

In his ruling, judge Daniel Bourgeois wrote that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not give students a right to strike. “In fact, nowhere in the law does one find clauses that allow for the triggering of a strike vote or powers that compare to the rights granted to unions,” he added.