Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, international students have been amongst the hardest-hit at the University of Toronto. Many have chosen to stay in their home countries due to the virus, however, they still have to pay the exorbitantly high international tuition fees for the same online school experience as their Canadian peers.
International fees are about eight times as expensive as the domestic rate, but despite this, some Canadian students have gone out of their way to pay the same amount for tuition as international students.
“Pour moi, c’est une partie de mon identité," Jean-Luc Dubois told The Boundary while taking a drag from a cigarette. The third-year Political Science student is a die-hard Québécois separatist who has voted for the Bloc Québécois in previous years. “I want to pay international fees, parce que je ne suis pas un Canadien. Québéc should be an independent nation,” Dubois said as he straightened his beret.
In recent decades, the sovereignty movement has declined in popularity, Dubois admits. He maintains that small personal acts—like paying $54,900 in tuition straight from his own parents’ pockets or buying Molson beer—will revive the movement “from the ground up.” Until then, Dubois intends to continue agitating for Québécois independence on the steps of Sidney Smith Hall by himself.
Photo Credit: Daniel Fraser