Quebec student protests by the numbers

It's membership time. Cultivate Canada's media. Support Become a member.

Unfair Canada

Richest 1 per cent increased their share of total income from 8.1 per cent in 1980 to 13.3 in 2007

Richest 0.1 per cent doubled their share from 2 per cent to 5.3

The 100 best-paid CEOs made an average of $6.6 million, 155 times the average wage of $42,988

Tax rate for richest dropped from 43 per cent in 1981 to 29 per cent in 2010

Cost of corporate tax cuts: more than $10 billion yearly

Unfair Quebec

Richest 10 per cent made 24 per cent more in 2006 than the richest in 1976

Middle earners: 6.4 per cent more

Poorest: 10 per cent less

Stranding students

Average tuition in Quebec: $2,500

Average in rest of Canada: $5,000

Average in Ontario: $6,307

Tuition as a percentage of total university and college revenue has doubled, from 10 per cent to 21

Quebec's tuition hike: $325 a year for the next five years (amended to seven years), totalling a $1,625 increase

Benefits of low or no tuition

Average student debt in Quebec: $13,000

Average student debt in the rest of Canada: $26,000

Percentage of Canadian youth in post-secondary education: 74

Percentage of Quebec youth in post-secondary education: 83

Cost of free education in Quebec: less than 1 per cent of the government's budget

For every $1,000 fee hike: proportion of poor students drops by 19 per cent

Youth takes a hit

Total student debt in Canada, including private loans: $20 billion

Youth unemployment: 14 to 20 per cent

Percentage of students defaulting on government loans: 14

Percentage of Canadians 20 to 24 living with parents: 73

Percentage 25 to 29 living with parents: 33 per cent

Just figuring

Cost of F-35 fighter jets over 20 years: $25 billion

Cost of wiping out Canada's student debt: $20 billion

Sources: Statistics Canada, Institute de Recherche d'Informations Socio-Economiques, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Conference Board of Canada, Escalator To The Bottom

This article was first published in NOW Magazine.

Related Items

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.