TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Students are pleased that the Ontario
government has allocated $210 million in federal funding for universities,
originally committed in 2005 federal budget, to address enrolment pressures,
but are concerned that the budget does not reflect funding announced in
Monday's federal budget.
"One time funding to address rising enrolment will help alleviate
pressure next year, but isn't a sustainable solution for rising enrolment in
the future," said Paris Meilleur, President of the Ontario Undergraduate
Student Alliance. "The province must dedicate all funds earmarked in the
federal budget for post-secondary education, and must allocate those funds to
colleges and universities as soon as possible."
We are also encouraged by the province's decision to further increase the
minimum wage, but had hoped the government would increase the amount of money
students can earn during the academic year without financial penalty from
"Students receiving OSAP are only able to earn $50 per week during the
academic year; anything above that amount is clawed back," said Meilleur.
"Students take a double hit in that they often don't receive enough assistance
from OSAP to fully meet their need, but they also cannot earn enough income to
make up for the shortfall."
It is very positive to see the province's efforts to help children from
low-income families through the Ontario Child Benefit, but we hope the
province will continue to strengthen its support for early outreach programs
that promote the value of higher education and the various pathways available
to Ontario's youth.
"Building a comprehensive outreach strategy, which includes significant
funding for grassroots efforts that provide supports for at-risk youth, will
compliment the Ontario Child Benefit, and ensure more youth move on to
post-secondary education," said Meilleur.
For more information on OUSA's policy and campaign activities, please
OUSA represents the interests of over 125,000 professional and
undergraduate, full and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province.
For further information:
For further information: Paris Meilleur, President, OUSA, (416)