Students at 2 holdout CEGEPs vote on strike

It's back to school season for more Quebec students as three Montreal colleges voted to end the student strike and resume classes on Thursday.

Two more — the last holdouts in the province — will decide Friday whether to overturn earlier votes to keep up their boycott.

CEGEPs Bois-de-Boulogne, de Rosemont and Ahuntsic will all see students return as early as next week.

General assemblies had firm turnouts and decisive results. Students at Bois-de-Boulogne voted 493 against 23 to squash the strike. In Rosemont and Ahuntsic, students voted by similar margins.

On Friday, pupils at CEGEP St. Laurent and CEGEP du Vieux-Montréal could change their minds and go back to class. Both schools had earlier voted to continue their strike, but with every other college opting to resume classes, some students are having a change of heart. It's hoped the new votes will have higher turnouts and be more decisive.

Meanwhile, students at Lionel-Groulx, Montmorency and Saint-Jérôme colleges were back in their seats on Thursday morning, two days after announcing their return to class.

According to the more militant student association CLASSE, nearly 150 associations in 12 different universities had mandates for an unlimited general strike even after the adoption of special law Bill 78 last May.

Student associations in seven faculties supported the student strike. Among them were social sciences students at UQAM and social services students at Université de Montréal along with graduate students in Université de Sherbrooke's communications department — excluding the students on the Longueuil campus.

Nearly 10,000 students in associations connected to the CLASSE have voted to continue boycotting classes since the election writ dropped two weeks ago.

The university start-date is set for August 27, but many general assemblies have yet to vote.

Strike on August 22

Though students at Collège de Rosemont decided to return to class, the president of the student association said its members would be striking on the 22nd of every month.

Students at College de Valleyfield will vote next Tuesday on whether they will be skipping classes to protest on August 22. Students in Ahuntsic are also expected to hold a similar vote.

Majority of Quebec students back in class

Among the 11 college associations that have held general assemblies, only CEGEP du Vieux Montréal and CEGEP de Saint-Laurent have opted to continue the student boycott, but new votes could change the original results when the schools hold a second voting assembly.

CEGEP André-Laurendeau, Collège de Maisonneuve, CEGEP Marie-Victorin, Collège de Valleyfield, Collège Édouard-Montpetit, Collège Lionel-Groulx and Collège Montmorency have all voted against the strike.

Students at CEGEP de Saint-Jérôme and CEGEP Saint-Hyacinthe have agreed to go back to class at least until the provincial election date on Sept. 4 and hold another general assembly after the election.