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L’ASSOCIATION DES COLLÈGES PRIVÉS DU QUÉBEC WELCOMES THE BILL N°151 : AN ACT TO PREVENT AND FIGHT SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Montreal, November 3, 2017 - L’Association des collèges privés du Québec (ACPQ) welcomes the bill to prevent and fight sexual violence in higher education institutions.  This bill was tabled November 1st by the Minister responsible for higher education. Indeed, private colleges already demonstrate their desire to be safe study and work places, free from sexual violence and where everyone’s dignity and physical integrity are respected.

The Association also applauds the fact that this bill and the strategy stand out by taking into account all those who attend higher education institutions, and that they consider, in particular, students with disabilities, sexual gender minorities and members of first nations communities. The ACPQ’s participation in the consultation process last August, has led to the Intervention strategy to prevent and fight sexual violence in higher education 2017–2022,  and is an example of the importance that subsidized private colleges give to this subject.

Even before the introduction of this law, a consultation table, which will take place on November 16th, had already been organized knowing the importance of the situation. This exchange and reflection committee was set up to evaluate the different scenarios for implementing the future institutional policy provided by this bill. Although the ACPQ agrees with this bill and that several guidelines were needed to prevent and fight sexual violence, we are concerned about the implementation of a policy that would meet the needs and which would consider the specific realities of institutions.

To implement such a policy, colleges must have the necessary resources, for example, to set up a complaint process and everything that this involves (reception, referral, support and accompanying victims). In this regard, the ACPQ hopes that the legislator will consider the capacity of institutions, particularly for the smallest colleges, when it will approve the list of prescriptive elements of the Act. In fact, more than fifty percent of subsidized private colleges have fewer than 500 students.

The ACPQ will advocate for itself at the parliamentary commission on the precise content of the bill and will work to ensure that subsidized private institutions continue to implement all relevant means to fight sexual violence.

About the ACPQ

L’Association des collèges privés du Québec (ACPQ) represents 21 accredited private colleges in Montreal, Quebec City, Estrie, Mauricie, Monteregie, Centre-du-Québec and Outaouais, offering diverse pre-university and technical programs with a tradition of excellence, these private colleges welcomed some 17 000 students in their programs, leading to a Diploma of College Studies (DEC) or an Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC), in 2016–2017. At the heart of the Association’s actions is the success of its students.

For more information, contact :

Isabelle Quirion at acpq@acpq.net

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