Ontario beats Nova Scotia in tuition fee race: Students lose out

TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - The 2009 Statistics Canada report on tuition fees released today showed that Ontario has finally taken the lead in its race with Nova Scotia for the highest tuition fees in Canada. This year, undergraduate fees in Ontario surpassed the national average by over $1,000 and graduate tuition fees exceeded the average by $2,600.

"Winning the prize for the highest fees in the country isn't the kind of distinction that Premier McGuinty should be seeking," said Shelley Melanson, Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "As the former title-holder, Nova Scotia has put the brakes on fee increases and reduced fees for students of that province, but Ontario has continued to rocket ahead."

"After a summer with record-high youth unemployment, students are bearing the brunt of the recession and have received no relief from mounting student debt," said Melanson. "Students think that McGuinty's track-record on tuition fees is shameful and since September over 80,000 students have signed postcards to the Premier to tell him just that."

When Premier Dalton McGuinty cancelled the tuition fee freeze in 2006, Ontario students paid the fourth highest fees in the country. Since then, fees have been allowed to increase between 20 and 36 percent, making Ontario the most expensive place in a Canada to get an education.

"Today, Ontario's students pay the highest fees in Canada, while studying in the largest classes," said Melanson. "There is no question that Ontario's students are losing out."

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's largest student advocacy organisation, representing more than 300,000 college and university students in all regions of Ontario. On November 5, 2009, students from across Ontario will rally in protest of high fees and the government's inaction in addressing poverty and providing opportunities to the province's youth.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: Shelley Melanson, Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell); Joel Duff, Organiser, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell); Roxanne Dubois, Treasurer (French Language contact), (613) 816-7486 (cell)

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