You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

McGill and Concordia Universities sued the government of Quebec Friday over its decision last fall to significantly increase the tuition for English-speaking students at institutions in the Canadian province starting next fall, The Gazette of Montreal reported.

Quebec instituted the policy as part of a larger strategy aimed at strengthening use of the French language in the province.

In their separate but coordinated legal actions, the two English-focused institutions said that they supported the government’s efforts to support “francization” in the province, but they argued that the changes disproportionately and illegally affect them.

“We are undertaking this legal action because we believe that these measures are illegal and if upheld, will threaten McGill’s mission, its place as one of the world’s top universities and its vital role in Quebec,” Deep Saini, McGill’s president and vice chancellor, said in a statement on the university's website.

“In our court proceedings, we assert that, when making changes to its tuition policies, the government had the obligation to actively consider values inherent to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including equality among francophone and anglophone linguistic groups and the protection of Quebec’s minority English-language community,” Graham Carr, Concordia’s president and vice chancellor, said in its statement.

“The government significantly increased tuition fees for out-of-province students attending anglophone universities only and imposed a new fee structure for international students that will have disproportionately negative financial consequences for anglophone universities.”