TORONTO, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The 2012 Ontario Budget, passed in the legislature today, does little to make post-secondary education more affordable for Ontarians. Students are disappointed that this budget does nothing to alleviate record-high student debt or reduce the upfront cost of attending college or university in the province.
"Students in Ontario face the highest tuition fees in the country and will find no relief when they go back to school this fall," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "For every new $1.00 allocated to financial assistance, this budget will claw back $1.20 from students in 2012-13 by increasing tuition fees and cutting nine grant, scholarship and bursary programs."
The Liberal Party promised students a 30 per cent tuition fee reduction in the 2011 election. After being elected partially on that promise, the government instead introduced the complicated Ontario Tuition Grant that close to 80 per cent of students in Ontario have not received. The 2012 budget eliminates $100 million in other financial assistance programs for students and allows tuition fees to increase by 5-8 per cent, for the seventh consecutive year.
Earlier this month, students presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and recommended that the money from the Ontario Tuition Grant and the new tax bracket on incomes over $500,000 be directed to reducing tuition fees. This proposal alone could have reduced tuition fees for all college and university students by 25 per cent.
"Under the McGuinty government, tuition fees have increased as much as 71 per cent," said King. "Students are tired of the government playing political games instead of making college and university education more affordable for students."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students from Windsor to Thunder Bay.
For further information:
Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson: 416-925-3825 or 647-339-4070 (cell)
Toby Whitfield, National Executive Representative: 416-925-3825 or 647-531-2417 (cell)