TORONTO, ON – For the last four years, students in Ontario have endured a provincial government that has consistently undermined Post-Secondary Education and other students’ issues.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ford government drastically cut social spending, consistently favouring profits over the needs of students. This government has made Post-Secondary Education increasingly unattainable as over $1 billion was slashed from student financial aid. This government introduced the unlawful Student Choice Initiative policy—a policy that directly threatened students, student associations, and their right to organize. This government has time and again showed that students are expendable and exploitable. Under the policies of this government, students have struggled to learn, work, and make ends meet.
It is also under this government that students have organized on the ground to give each other the support that the government has failed to provide. The students organized for free education, launched mutual aid initiatives, and successfully fought against the Student Choice Initiative twice. The students showed up for one another, and they will continue to prove that strength in solidarity can win against oppressive and regressive policy.
Mitra Yakubi, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario
“From financial struggles to dealing with oppression, violence and unaffordability, students are tired. We are disappointed with the lack of willingness from the Ford government to work with students and make us part of the decision-making processes that impact our lives. We know what our needs and priorities are. We need a provincial government that is willing to give us a seat at the table and work with us. And until it works with us, we will continue to organize against regressive policy, and for students. We demand a better future now!”
The next four years cannot be a continuation of the attacks on students. Students call on all newly-elected Members of the Provincial Parliament to prioritize students and students’ issues by providing public funding to create a free, accessible and high-quality Post-Secondary Education sector, and to introduce legislation to protect students’ right to organize and to reinstate access to OHIP for International students. All decisions impacting students’ lives should be made with the students. For the next four years, as the Federation has done for more than forty years, we will continue to advocate for students’ rights and a better future for all. Students will continue to rise up until these policies are achieved. Students demand our future, and the students united will never be defeated.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the oldest and largest student organization in Ontario, representing over 350,000 college and university students in every region of the province.
For further information on the campaign or to set up an interview, contact: Romina Avila, Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 289-259-7014