McGuinty's New Surplus Generated on the Backs of Students

    Students Call for Immediate End to Tuition Fee Hikes and Illegal
    Ancillary Fees

    TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - Students are frustrated that despite the
McGuinty Government's surplus of $2.3 billion for fiscal year 2006-07 and a
projected surplus of $750 million for 2007-08, the government is continuing to
allow dramatic increases in tuition fees and illegal college ancillary fees.
    "It wasn't necessary to let colleges and universities generate an
additional $135 million on the backs of students last year," said Jen Hassum,
Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Clearly the
government has the resources to follow through on its responsibility to
adequately fund post-secondary education and it should have kept tuition fees
    Hassum's comments come two weeks before fall classes are set to begin on
most campuses across the province. Students will be paying as much as 4 to 8%
more for their education again this year.
    In 2004, under pressure from students and their families, the Ontario
government imposed a freeze on public college and university tuition fees.
Only two years later, while Ontario's fees remained amongst the highest in the
country, the government lifted the freeze and unveiled the "Reaching Higher"
plan to increase tuition fees by as much as 36% over four years.
    "Students aren't fooled by McGuinty's agenda for high tuition fees and
high student debt, and neither are voters in general," said Hassum.
    A public opinion poll conducted by Feedback Research Corporation on
behalf of the Federation just prior to the presentation of the 2007 Ontario
budget found that:

    -   82% of voters are concerned about the accessibility of college and
        university education;

    -   of those, 82% attribute that concern to the financial barriers of
        high tuition fees and inadequate student financial assistance; and

    -   75% of Ontarians agree that tuition fees should be reduced.

    "This government continues to make students beg, borrow and even pay
illegal ancillary fees for their education while announcing that the coffers
are overflowing," said Hassum. "There's an election in October and we plan to
make sure that every voter is educated about the parties' track records and
promises on post-secondary education."

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson: (613) 232-7394 or
cell: (416) 832-9073; Jesse Greener, Campaigns and Government Relations
Coordinator: (416) 925-3825 or cell: (416) 301-5747

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