Ontario Students appalled by Oshawa's anti-student by-laws



    TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the City of Oshawa passed a Revised
Residential Rental Licensing By-law that will effectively control where
students are allowed to live in the city. The by-law is meant to
systematically target students since the only area of the city affected is the
neighbourhood surrounding Durham College and the University of Ontario
Institute of Technology (UOIT).
    The by-law places new restrictions on basement apartments and the number
of rooms in a house that can be rented. It also introduces a new licensing fee
only for landlords whose properties surround the school but does not include
any plan or provisions for transitioning students who currently rent in the
area.
    "Imposing unreasonable restrictions will result in fewer affordable
rental units available and new landlord fees and inspection costs will be
downloaded onto student renters," said Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian
Federation of Students - Ontario. "By driving up the rental costs and reducing
housing options in student neighbourhoods, it looks like the Oshawa City
Council is trying to run students out of town. From where students stand, this
looks like blatant discrimination."
    "Mayor Gray and the Oshawa City Council haven't listened to a word that
students have said. Now they have declared student renters to be second-class
community members and we will have to follow by-law regulations that other
Oshawa citizens do not," said Fraser McArthur, President of Durham College and
University of Ontario Institute of Technology Students' Association. "Since
the summer, the Students' Association has presented options and alternatives
to the City of Oshawa; all of which have been ignored. Students are very upset
by final decision of City Council members."
    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is calling upon concerned
community members to voice their opposition to the by-law by writing letters
to Oshawa City Council.
    "This by-law is bad for students and sets a dangerous precedent for other
college and university towns across the province," said Hassum. "Yesterday's
By-law made Oshawa a much less inviting place for students. If it isn't
careful, Oshawa City Council just might legislate itself into empty
classrooms."

    The Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario unites over 300,000 college
and university students from more than 35 students' unions throughout the
province.





For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, CFS-Ontario: (416)
925-3825 or (416) 832-9073 (cell); Joel Duff, Organiser, CFS-Ontario: (416)
925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell)


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