Students should wait to pay tuition, PQ says

The Parti Québécois is telling students they should delay paying their tuition fees in case the party rises to power in the upcoming election.
Parti Québécois candidates are telling students to hold off on paying tuition fees. (Stock)

The Parti Québécois is telling students they should delay paying their tuition fees in case the party rises to power in the upcoming election.

Students are beginning to see bills outlining their fall semester school fees and saving up funds to pay for classes, but the PQ said people should wait before paying their colleges and universities in case the party could readjust the invoices.

PQ candidate for the Taillon riding Marie Malavoy said, "I think students should just wait, and even if they receive the bills, they should just wait to pay them. Honestly, if they wait until Sept. 5 or 6 or 7, they don't have any risk."

Malavoy also added that universities should wait before issuing the bills because the PQ would act quickly to implement policies to neutralize this year's tuition increase.

Most universities ask students to pay for their fall semesters between the end of August and the end of September.

Morton Mendelson, deputy provost of student life and learning at McGill University in Montreal, believes the PQ's comments come too soon.

"I was somewhat amused. I think it's premature. We have a government in place, we have a ministry in place, the ministry has given us directives. We have our bills already sent out, our students at McGill are expected to pay their tuition bill by Aug. 31, and we're expecting them to pay."

Students face financial penalties if they fail to pay their dues to schools within the deadline period.

Martine Desjardins, president of the federation of university student associations (FEUQ), said she was surprised by the PQ's comment on tuition and said students should still be wary about not paying off their bills.

"We need to make sure that every student did receive their bills today, and if they needed to pay before Sept. 4 (the election date), then maybe they need to pay it, because they wiill be charged interest," said Desjardins. "If the PQ is elected, then maybe they would reimburse the tuition fees, but they won't reimburse interest."

Mendelson added that the PQ government's rollback would cost the school nearly $7.5 million.

"Universities knew about the election and were already planning for a PQ rollback of tuition," said Mendelson. "Certainly at McGill, our budget was passed in the spring before the election was called. We're going to wait and see what happens just like everyone else in Quebec."

Quebec students have been fighting against a tuition hike since the beginning of the education crisis in February.