Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario lobby week 2016

Bringing the voices of over 350,000 college and university students directly to Queen's Park

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TORONTO, March 7, 2016 /CNW/ - From March 7-10, student representatives from across Ontario will meet with Members of Provincial Parliament from all parties to share our vision for affordable and accessible post-secondary education in the province. Ontario ranks as the most expensive province in Canada in which to pursue a post-secondary education, while students sit in overflowing classrooms taught more frequently by part-time or sessional instructors, damaging the quality of education that students receive.

"In an economy where 75 per cent of newly posted jobs require post-secondary education, it has never been more important for students to complete a college or university program to ensure lifelong financial stability. But ironically, that education has never been more expensive to access," said Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario.

The 2016 Ontario budget contained an important victory for students with the introduction of the new Ontario Student Grant, a singular needs-based grant that will provide more up-front financial assistance to students. For students from low-income families, this means the grant will often exceed the cost of their tuition fees. For middle-income students, they will continue to receive significantly more non-repayable financial assistance than they do under the province's current model.

"The new Ontario Student Grant is a reflection of the hard work students have put in over the years to highlight the importance of needs-based grants," said Gabrielle Ross-Marquette, the National Executive Representative for the Federation. "However, students have many other ideas to improve affordability, access and quality of higher education in the province and we are here to talk about them with decision-makers and build upon this important victory."

Student representatives will be bringing forward a variety of proposals to MPPs including public healthcare for international students, supporting paid experiential learning for all students, increasing funding for campus mental health services, protecting and promoting Indigenous languages in post-secondary education, post-residency fees for graduate students and the creation of a new division within the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to monitor the implementation of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan recommendations by colleges and universities.

About the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the largest student organization in the province, representing over 350,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students from Thunder Bay to Windsor.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario

Image with caption: "Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario (CNW Group/Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario)". Image available at:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Alastair Woods, Government & Media Relations Coordinator, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, 647-378-8942 or

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