TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - After years of tuition fee increases, sky-rocketing student debt and declining quality at Ontario's colleges and universities under Dalton McGuinty, students are calling on the Liberal government to prioritize high quality and affordable post-secondary education. Dalton McGuinty resigned yesterday, proroguing parliament until the selection of a new Liberal leader and premier.
"Dalton McGuinty, supposed Education Premier, betrayed students and families time and time again, leaving Ontario colleges and universities the most expensive and poorest funded in the country," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Students are fed up with political games and want this government to take decisive action to improve the quality of colleges and universities and dropping tuition fees."
In the last election, the Liberals promised to reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent. Instead, they introduced a restrictive grant program that only two in nine students qualified for this past year. In the most recent budget, the Liberals also cut about $100 million dollars from student financial assistance.
McGuinty's Legacy: Quick Facts
Since 2006, tuition fees have increased by as much as 71 per cent. Students in Ontario now pay the highest tuition fees in all of Canada.
Student debt has ballooned under the McGuinty government because of rising tuition fees. Since 2005, outstanding debt to the Ontario government has more than doubled, increasing from $1.15 billion to $2.64 billion.
In the 2012 budget, for every new $1 the government provided for the new grant program, $1.20 was clawed back from students through another tuition fee increase and cuts to financial aid programs including grants for Francophone students and the Ontario Work Study Program.
Per-student funding for post-secondary education in Ontario is now the lowest in the country.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students
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