Montreal students have been fined $494 each for blocking an on-ramp to the Champlain Bridge with bodies and cinder blocks during the 7 a.m. rush hour, in protest of Quebec's planned $1,625 rise in tuition fees.
While at Champlain Bridge, 'the students held up a large banner that read: 'Stop the hikes, give us our due.' They also held a large red square -- a symbol of the debt they say they will have to take on to continue their education."
With further protests planned for over 100,000 student marchers on Thursday, Quebec is preparing for city chaos. According to the Montreal Gazette, there will zero tolerance for any student who attempts to block major thoroughfares.
The students' high-profile act was accurately timed for the provincial budget day in the city, a week of escalating action against tuition hikes. The fact that motorists were held up for work hurt the student's movements, the frustrated Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said, "there are economic costs to the protest in terms of lost productivity and slowdowns in the delivery of goods."
Canada.com reports, “It’s the reputation of Montreal,” he [Tremblay] said.
“It discourages people who come to Montreal. It discourages merchants.”
Tremblay said the city recognizes the right to demonstrate, but said Montrealers are growing weary of the daily paralysis.