Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PQ says English universities get too much infrastructure funding

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QUEBEC — English-language universities are getting the lion’s share of infrastructure funding from the Quebec government, the opposition Parti Québécois says.

The Quebec Infrastructure Plan’s list of projects in progress shows projects at McGill and Concordia universities getting $622 million of $1.04 billion in higher-education infrastructure funding for projects worth $20 million or more. Of that, $527.6 million is for redevelopment of the old Royal Victoria Hospital site.

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On Thursday, PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said his calculations show McGill is getting $28,500 per student while UQAM is getting only $357.

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French-language universities, he said, share “a meagre 40 per cent” of funding, while the Université du Québec system gets “five per cent of the pie.”

“Can the premier admit that his budget in terms of higher education directly finances the anglicization of Quebec?” St-Pierre Plamondon asked Premier François Legault during question period.

Legault evaded the question and accused the PQ of wanting to close half of Quebec’s English CEGEPs, noting that the CAQ’s Bill 96 capped English CEGEPs at 17 per cent of the total CEGEP population.

St-Pierre Plamondon demanded the premier implement a PQ plan to require no more than 20 per cent of foreign students be anglophones. Legault replied that René Lévesque’s Bill 101 called for anglophones from the rest of Canada paying the same tuition as Quebecers in Quebec English-language universities.

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