New Pre-Budget Poll Confirms Sustained Opposition to Tuition Fee Increases

    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - New pre-budget public opinion polling data was
released today by the Canadian Federation of Students. The data confirm that a
majority of Ontarians continue to be opposed to the McGuinty government's
Reaching Higher plan for higher tuition fees.
    "Thousands of Ontario students took to the streets in protest on
February 7 to remind Premier McGuinty of the widespread opposition to his
conservative policy of high tuition fees and student debt," said Jesse
Greener, Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "These
poll results confirm that more than two-thirds of Ontario voters think that
students are right to be calling McGuinty's cancellation of the tuition fee
freeze a broken promise."
    One thousand Ontarians were interviewed by Feedback Research Corporation
about their attitudes on the McGuinty government's post-secondary education
policy following the National Student Day of Action and in the lead-up to the
presentation of the 2007 Ontario Budget. The poll focused on the affordability
of post-secondary education and the fairness of tuition fees in the province.
It found that 82% of voters are concerned about the affordability of college
and university education and, of those, 82% attribute that concern to the
financial barriers of high tuition fees and inadequate student financial
    "The results clearly indicate that voters are very concerned about this
issue and that their concern is not going away," said Andre Turcotte,
President of Feedback Research. "The McGuinty government better pay attention
or it could pay the price in October."
    This poll reports voters' opinions just months before the 2007 Ontario
general election campaign will formally begin. Seventy-five percent of
Ontarians agree that tuition fees should be reduced.
    "Despite the McGuinty government's aggressive spin campaign about a
modest grants programme and more access to debt for students who can't afford
the high fees, 82% of voters remain concerned about access to university and
college education," said Greener. "Students are calling on Premier McGuinty to
show national leadership by committing to restore the tuition fee freeze with
the 2007 budget. Keeping fees in check is the only policy that will make
student financial assistance better than a debt sentence."

    The Canadian Federation of Students, Canada's national students' union,
unites more than 500,000 students across the country and 300,000 students in

For further information:

For further information: Jesse Greener, Ontario Chairperson at (416)
925-3825 or (416) 301-5747 (cell); or Joel Duff, Ontario Organiser at (416)
925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell); or Andre Turcotte, President, Feedback
Research, (416) 931-9306

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