June 6, 2012
On behalf of over one million workers in Ontario, I am writing to you to express our strongest solidarity with your movement to stop tuition fee hikes and maintain a high quality, accessible post-secondary education system in Québec. We salute your movement’s determination to continue in the face of an intransigent government and violent police crack-downs.
In Ontario, we are fighting our own provincial government’s austerity agenda that would see people on welfare suffer a further cut in the purchasing power of their monthly stipends. We are fighting our government’s plans to underfund crucial social programs like health care and education, all while dolling out billions of dollars in tax cuts to profitable corporations.
We know that a victory for Québec students is a victory for working people everywhere and will inspire and embolden our movement here in Ontario.
Since the 2010 G20 in Toronto where Canada spent nearly $2 billion on police and paramilitary security that saw the largest mass arrests since the imposition of martial law in Québec, we have known the leaders of the world’s largest economies were preparing to deliver a frontal assault on working people at home and around the world.
We know that solidarity and resistance are crucial weapons in the fight against austerity at all levels. In this regard, we salute students who have made common cause with Steelworkers in Alma, Québec who themselves were locked out by the heartless, profit-driven corporation Rio Tinto Alcan.
For more than 40 years, students in Québec have been on the forefront of the battles to ensure that education remains affordable and accessible for all. The fact that tuition fees have been frozen for much of those past 40 years is a testament to the effectiveness of solidarity and resistance that emerged over and over again to stop tuition fee hikes, to defend and restore student grants and to maintain adequate public funding. The success of your movement is an inspiration to all of us.
Sid Ryan, President
Ontario Federation of Labour
- Young Workers
- Post-Secondary Education
- Quebec Student Strike
- Tuition Fees