Quebec court stalls international tuition hike at Concordia

The Quebec Superior Court put the breaks on a plan to hike international student tuition at Concordia University, a move the Concordia Student Union is calling a legal victory.

The court issued a ten-day safeguard order that freezes the planned 10 per cent tuition hike for international students at the 38,000-student university. The increase would have seen international students taking a full course load pay an additional $920 to $1045 each year.

The court order is related to the Board of Governor’s meeting where the decision was made, which occurred via teleconference on June 27. The vote on the increase was originally scheduled for the Board’s regular June 19 meeting. However, the vote was delayed after student representatives filibustered the meeting by leaving so that the board would lose quorum.

The Concordia Student Union maintained the Board did not have the authority to conduct a meeting by teleconference and went to the courts seeking a ruling that the meeting was illegal.

Today’s decision merely delays the decision in order to protect the interests of both parties, according to Christine Mota, director of media relations for Concordia University. “There was no decision on the legality for illegality of the meeting.” The university maintains the meeting was legal.

The student union is hailing the injunction as a victory. “If it [the meeting] was legal, we wouldn’t have got the injunction,” says Elie Chivi, vice-president communications of the Concordia Student Union. He says the union will be back in court later this week to seek a permanent injunction against the increase with a ruling that the Board of Governor’s meeting was illegal.