TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - College and university student representatives from across Ontario are meeting with Members of Provincial Parliament from all three parties this week as part of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario 2017 Lobby Week. Over the next three days, students will be presenting their ideas for the 2017 provincial budget in addition to discussing legislative priorities and party platforms for the 2018 elections.
WHO: College and university student representatives from across Ontario.
WHEN: Monday, February 27 to Wednesday, March 1.
WHAT: Students are meeting with MPPs from all parties as part of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario's 2017 Lobby Week. Meetings have been secured with Premier Kathleen Wynne and both Leaders of the opposition parties, Andrea Horwath and Patrick Brown.
This years lobby document, Impact with Investment, outlines several key recommendations students are making to improve post-secondary education in the province, including:
- Progressively reducing, and eventually eliminating tuition fees for all students through a 50/50 cost-sharing model with the federal government.
- Developing a four-year Strategic Student Success Fund to drive improvement and innovation in academic support services for students.
- Earmark funding for mental health support services in college and university operating grants and create a Mental Health & Wellness Division within the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
- Reintegrate international students into the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
- Introduce culturally appropriate and trauma-informed trainings on indigenous realities, experiences and histories to post-secondary faculty, staff and administrators.
- Invest in an Open Educational Resources Innovation fund to research and develop open access textbooks, course materials and programs.
- Despite making positive steps forward in the 2016 provincial budget by announcing the Ontario Student Grant, the province remains the most expensive place to pursue post-secondary education in Canada.
- Ontario's colleges and universities are suffering from chronic underfunding, leading Ontario to have the largest class sizes and the worst student-teacher ratios in Canada.
- Big changes are in store for Ontario colleges and universities this year, including the Ontario Student Grant, a reformed Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), and new college and university funding formulas.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 350,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson, at 289-923-3534 (cellphone) or [email protected]; Alastair Woods, Media & Government Relations Coordinator, at 647-378-8942 (cellphone) or [email protected]