The final hold-outs among college students in the six-month-long protest against rising tuition fees in Quebec returned to class Monday.
Students at CÉGEP du Vieux Montreal and CÉGEP Saint-Laurent decided last Friday to end their boycott of classes, after voting earlier this month to continue to strike.
That may not be the final word, however. At CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal, students will hold yet another assembly Tuesday afternoon, to decide whether to vote once more.
"I'm actually enjoying going back to school, because I think it's been too long that we're on strike," said CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal student Jordan Burneau. "It actually didn't do anything — but we'll see after the election."
"A lot of people are not happy to be there," said fellow student Simone Laflamme-Paquette. "They just feel forced to go back in class, and it's not a good end to our fight."
"We have to go in the streets again," Laflamme-Paquette added.
Fellow student Anne-Emmanuelle Masse also said the fight against tuition fee hikes is not over yet, despite the vote to return to class by 60 per cent of those who turned out last Friday.
"We mobilized in an intelligent way," said Masse. "We can mobilize again, even if we're not on strike."
But many students said they are eager to have their say at the ballot box on Sept. 4, and they are following the provincial election campaign closely.
"I do believe that the best way to create change in our democracy is to go vote," said Isabelle Héneault. "I hope that this has given the courage for all the students to go use their right and actually [make] that social change."
Students across the province are planning a one-day protest on Aug. 22, and some say they will take to the streets on the 22nd of each month until the student fee issue is resolved to their satisfaction.
University students are voting faculty by faculty this week and next on whether to resume their strike or return to classes.