In Canada, membership in a college or university students' union is mandatory across Canada under various provincial statutes. Included in Canadian students' tuition fees is anywhere from an additional $10–$500 fee to pay for the services of the union. The money raised from dues is often used to support a staff and office. Student elections usually happen around March as the membership elect their unions' executives. Student voter turnout for student elections is low for all institutions. The current largest undergraduate student union in Canada is the York Federation of Students, at the York University, with around 49,000 members.
Most students' unions are charged by their membership to protect their best interests at the university, municipal, provincial and federal government levels. Often, student unions in Canada are members of either the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations or the Canadian Federation of Students. One exception is the Province of Quebec, which has its own federation (the largest youth group in Quebec), called Quebec Federation of University Students (Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec or FEUQ). CEGEP students are represented by the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec or FECQ, while the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante or ASSE is a more radical organisation grouping students from both levels of education.
Different provinces have different rules governing student unions. In British Columbia under Section 27.1 of the University Act, student unions may only raise or rescind mandatory student union fees through a democratic referendum of the membership. Once fees are passed through this mechanism, the Board of Governors of the respective institutions are then required to remit those fees to the student union, and may only interfere in the internal affairs of the student union if it fails to complete annual audits of its finances, giving these student unions strong autonomy over their institutions. In Ontario, the autonomy of student unions is set by standards outlined by each institution, giving University administrators a broader scope of powers over the finances of student unions.
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Famous quotes containing the word canada:
“I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.”
—Susan B. Anthony (18201906)
“This universal exhibition in Canada of the tools and sinews of war reminded me of the keeper of a menagerie showing his animals claws. It was the English leopard showing his claws.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“What makes the United States government, on the whole, more tolerableI mean for us lucky white menis the fact that there is so much less of government with us.... But in Canada you are reminded of the government every day. It parades itself before you. It is not content to be the servant, but will be the master; and every day it goes out to the Plains of Abraham or to the Champs de Mars and exhibits itself and toots.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)