TORONTO, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The 2014 Ontario Budget has been served for a second time and still contains nothing to support the province's struggling college and university students, missing a crucial opportunity to invest in young people.
"Twice in one year, students have been completely forgotten by the Liberal government," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "With this budget, the Liberal government was given a second chance to show students a real investment in their futures. Again, the Liberals fail to even mention students and the crisis they face."
This budget contains no new funding to improve access, affordability and quality of college and university education in the province and continues the trend of reducing funding to institutions while increasing tuition fees.
Under the Liberal government, Ontario has become the most expensive province in which to pursue post-secondary education, with tuition fees increasing as much as 80 per cent since they took office. In 2011, the Liberal Party promised a 30 per cent tuition fee reduction, but instead instituted a grant with a fixed value that less than a quarter of all students receive. All the while, tuition fees continue to increase.
"Students have told the Premier personally that this government's policies are condemning a generation to a future of financial insecurity and uncertainty," said Woods. "Refusing to prioritize students in Ontario jeopardizes young people's prospects, and puts the economic and social health of our province at risk."
During consultations for the original budget, students recommended a cost neutral plan to reduce tuition fees by 16 per cent this September, as part of a three-year plan to reduce tuition fees for all students by 30 per cent.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the largest and oldest student organization in Ontario, representing more than 350,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario