TORONTO- College and university student representatives from across Ontario are meeting with Members of Provincial Parliament from all four parties this week as part of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario 2019 Lobby Week. Over the next four days, students will be presenting MPPs with recommendations for the 2019 provincial budget and discussing issues in post-secondary education, including the recent cuts to OSAP and the Student Choice Initiative.
WHO: College and university student representatives from across Ontario.
WHEN: Monday, February 25 to Thursday, February 28.
WHERE: Queen’s Park – Toronto, ON
WHAT: Students are meeting with MPPs from all parties as part of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario’s 2019 Lobby Week. Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Merrilee Fullerton did not accept invitations to meet with students.
This year’s lobby document, We The Students, outlines several key recommendations to improve post-secondary education in the province, including:
- Implement a ten-year tuition fee framework with ten per cent annual tuition fee reductions starting in 2020-2021.
- Maintain existing OSAP targeted grants program for low-income students.
- Expand targeted grants to include part-time students.
- Provide greater aid for students in professional programs.
- Continue the six-month grace period on interest for OSAP loans post-graduation.
- Protect all student voices by repealing the Student Choice Initiative.
- Develop a fully-funded Transitional Year Program to support Indigenous learners in bridging between high school and Ontario’s public post-secondary education system.
- Reinstate funding to the Université de l’Ontario français.
- On January 17, the Ford government announced a ten per cent tuition fee reduction, alongside major cuts to OSAP and the creation of a new ancillary fee framework that will make many student fees optional, including students’ union membership.
- In 2018-2019 under the previous OSAP grants program, over 210,000 students accessed grants that covered the full cost of tuition.
- Plans for the now-cancelled Université de l’Ontario français were put in place under the previous Liberal government in 2017. The federal government is willing to match funding 50/50 with the province through the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023.
- At a rally hosted by the CFS-Ontario on February 19 at Queen’s Park, 34 MPPs from the NDP, Liberal and Green parties signed a petition calling for the reversal of Ford’s plan for post-secondary education and the elimination of tuition fees.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 350,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.
For more information:
Nour Alideeb, Chairperson, at 416-925-3825
Ian McRae, Government Relations and Policy Coordinator, at 416-925-3825 or 306-852-0128