Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

The resources on this Canadian blog are all free, and I spend a lot of my time working on it, so please consider becoming a SUPPORTER. I appreciate all the support I get. It is the fuel that keeps me going.

Membership is FREE.

NOTE: To leave a comment, click on the word "comment" at the bottom of the page. A comment page will pop up.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

ESL Writing : Supporting an Opinion

Here is an opportunity for you to comment on a controversial issue in Canada that is  drawing a lot of attention around the world.
  1. Quebec Student Strike
Students in Canada's province of Quebec are now into their 112th day of a strike to protest against a tuition fee increase of $1,625 over the next five years.

Although the provincial government has passed a strict law limiting students right to  hold demonstrations unless they give a detailed plan about their activities a week ahead of time, students have refused to return to school and have continued to hold large public protests. 
Several days ago, both sides sat down to try to negotiate some kind of settlement; however, the talks have since broken down and the students remain on strike.The protests have affected the tourist industry, as visitors stay away from cities such as Montreal and Quebec  City to avoid the ongoing demonstrations.

Quebec Undergraduate fees lowest in Canada 

In March 2011,the Quebec provincial government  announced it was raising tuition fees by $325 a year over five years starting in September  2012.

Quebec students, who now pay $2,890 a year to attend university, currently have the lowest tuition fees in Canada and will continue to pay less than all other Canadian university  students even after the five year increase. Average fees for the rest of Canadian are now $5,366 a year, with Ontario students paying the most at $6,640.  Even with the fee increases, Quebec students will still only be paying $4,700 a year in 2017.

For information on tuition fees across Canada go to  Statistics Canada Tuition Fees Across Canada , or  CBC Graphs about Tuittion Fees in Canada  

Growing Public Support in Quebec

The students originally tried a variety of methods to protest against the fee increases, but when the government refused to back down, they formally went on strike on February 12th, three and a half months ago. Timeline  of the Quebec Student Strike  

As things stand now, almost half the population of Quebec supports the students. A recent poll showed that 43% of Quebecois feel that the province should freeze student tuition fees at their current rate. A number of social justice organizations, including the United Church of Canada, has publicly announced their support for the students. 
The strike has been an ongoing news story right from the beginning and a recent Vimeo video  of a "Pots and Pans " Demonstration by Quebecois from all walks of life has gone viral on Facebook and other social media sites.

For information on what makes Quebec and its protests so different from the rest of Canada click on the following story from the Montreal Gazette.Quebec Student Protests Have Deep Roots, 
For more information on the whole situation you can go to the following web sites: 
What is your opinion about the strike? Do you agree with the students' protest OR do you feel they should obey the provincial government and return to their classes. Support your answer with reasons and details.    

Write your answer in the comment box. Feel free to use any information in the post or in the other resource websites to support your opinion, but do NOT  simply COPY words and sentences word for word as support. Use your OWN words to say the same thing. Paraphrase . 


  1. Very interesting article.I heard the news about the strike but i didn't know the real reason.In my opinion if both parts compromise they will find a solution.I don't like the fact that students in Quebec have to pay less then other students around Canada.If I were a student myself I will also raise my voice to pay the equal amount as the students in Quebec.Students should be treated equaly everywhere.As a result I don't support this strike.

    1. Gentian,
      Thanks for your comment. You make some good points.I'm sure other people in B.C. feel the same way.

  2. My view is that the strike is an important philosophical struggle: Education should be free (or low cost) based on ability. This is a democratic position that allows talented people to become educated without financial or "class" barriers. It takes a strong stand that education should be open to all with ability (not just privileged people with money.) This is an age old debate in many countries. It is an argument about what kind of society we want and some people feel this is worth fighting for (peacefully). It will not go away soon.


  3. Even though I'm from Montral, I can't agree with those student.First of all, they have already pay less from another province, but they still complaining and giving problem to the Government. Second,they haven't think about other province students feel because they are still paying higher tuition fees . If I were a full time student in .BC., I would say the Government treat me unfairly too .

  4. What is interesting is that students from other parts of Canada have not done what Quebec students have done. Although they complain about the tuition fees, they haven't gone on strike or taken to the streets for one week, much less three months. It seems that the students in Quebec are more willing to fight for what they want.


  5. If I were a student and I heard the news that the tuition fee would be rising , I would be very disappointed.If I were a student, I would have to work for the tuition fee and for my daily life.In case, the news that the tuition fee woule be rising would be burden to me. I would be satisfied with low cost tuition fees As the parent of would-be university students.In my personal opinion,The government should give better opportunities to students to study. Numerous students have to stop studying to earn tuition fees. It can lose their chance to study

  6. The big question is who should pay? If the government pays the entire cost, either taxes would have to go up or some other service would get less federal money since the money would have to come from somewhere.
    Does anyone have any ideas of where the money should come from?

  7. If we could ignore the students have been last long time protesting and/or some sort of violent involving, to give this answer might be easier. Things are happening today, I believe it is no simple answer or easy solution.
    To be students, they are always willing to pay as less as possible. To be government, they have to balance the benefits for every concerned (politics is still the one, sadly).
    My comment: During the economy recession period, if the government don't want to put money on capital construction to increase employee rate, they have to put money on education, on schools, to keep more youths in schools for better opportunities after years. Cutting some services and shrinking overhead of operation could not avoid.


If you do not have a web site, or a Google account, click on Name/URL and simply leave your name. You do NOT need to be a member to leave a comment.