Hampton: Students need a break from soaring costs

    WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton says his
key commitments would make life more affordable for Ontario post-secondary
students and their families need a break from soaring costs. During a visit to
the University of Waterloo with NDP candidate Catherine Fife, Hampton promised
relief in the form of a rollback to pre-McGuinty levels and then a freeze of
post-secondary tuition fees.
    "When Dalton McGuinty went to McMaster University in 1975, he had to work
only 6.4 weeks at minimum wage to pay for his tuition, while today a McMaster
student would have to work 16.2 weeks. Clearly affordability has become a much
more serious problem for students and working families," said Hampton.
    College and university are out of reach of many working families. The
McGuinty government hiked tuition fees by up to 36 per cent for some programs.
Graduating Ontario students have been saddled with the highest average
post-secondary debt in Canada - a staggering $22,700.
    "Four years ago Dalton McGuinty said tuition fees were too high. I wonder
if he thinks raising them by 36% is fair?" Hampton said.
    The NDP's commitment to remove barriers to post-secondary students would
also eliminate classroom fees for apprentices at worker training centres or
colleges. McGuinty had promised to eliminate the fees, which can reach $400 a
session, but failed to follow through on his promise.
    Dalton McGuinty's refusal to raise the minimum wage to a fair $10/hr
makes it even harder for today's students to raise the money they need to get
an education.
    "Fairness means no one is denied the chance to go to college, university
or take an apprenticeship because they can't afford it," said Hampton.

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