Lucien Bouchard wades into tuition debate; ex-PQ premier sides against old party

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

MONTREAL - A former Parti Quebecois premier has waded into Quebec's tuition debate, and he's not siding with his old party.

Lucien Bouchard is among several personalities to sign a letter asking Quebecers to support the government, arguing that tuition hikes are necessary to make up for a general freeze over the years.

The letter says there's a limit to the burden taxpayers can carry with respect to providing social services; it also suggests recent street protests are an outsized reaction to the hikes.

Bouchard was premier in the 1990s when the PQ also contemplated fee hikes — then backpedalled in the face of student protests.

Current PQ members have supported the student movement, even wearing its trademark red squares on their lapels.

However, the PQ hasn't said what it would do to replace the lost funding if it imposed a tuition freeze after being elected.