Canadian Association of University Teachers to provide financial and legal support to students in Quebec (23 May 2012)

(Ottawa – May 23, 2012) The national organization representing academic staff across Canada today announced its financial and legal backing to student organizations in Quebec.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) says it intends to fully support students in their struggle against tuition fee hikes and the oppressive Bill 78 introduced by the Charest Government last Friday.

“Today we are announcing that we will donate $20,000 to assist Quebec student organizations cover the legal costs to defend students charged while engaging in peaceful protest,” said CAUT’s executive director James Turk. “We will also call upon all our member associations to make a donation to the students’ legal defence fund.”

Turk stated that representatives of CAUT will participate in the student protests. The organization will also actively support the court challenge to Bill 78 by bringing a pan-Canadian perspective on the harm done by the legislation.

As well, CAUT will encourage its member associations to issue a statement condemning Bill 78 as a serious violation of civil liberties, circulate a petition against Bill 78, and publicize the website www.arretezmoiquelquun.com where individuals can post their photographs with an indication that je désobéis.

“For our members in Quebec, CAUT will assist in filing grievances about each aspect of Bill 78 that violates their collective agreement rights, and provide legal advice to any member considering actions against Bill 78,” Turk added.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of more than 68,000 academic and general staff at 124 colleges and universities across Canada.

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For more information:

Angela Regnier, communications officer, (o) 613-820-2270 x. 186 (cell) 613-601-6304

James Turk, executive director, (o) 613-820-2270 x. 176 (cell) 613-277-0488  

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