Ontario Liberal Platform Fails College and University Students

    TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - With the Ontario Liberal election platform
released today, Dalton McGuinty offers students further tuition fee increases
and larger debts to manage. Students feel betrayed by a record of broken
promises and a platform that ignores the real problems.
    "The Ontario Liberal platform fails college and university students,"
said Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.
"Under Dalton McGuinty's leadership, Ontario's tuition fees are on their way
to becoming the highest in Canada and his campaign promises more of the same."
    Last year, the McGuinty government cancelled the tuition fee freeze and
replaced it with tuition fee increases that, for many students, are as high as
36% over four years. At the same time, McGuinty has allowed Ontario's
community colleges, and many universities, to charge hundreds of dollars of
illegal ancillary fees to students.
    "Only the neediest students in Ontario qualify for up-front, need-based
grants and the rest are being asked to mortgage even higher debt loads against
their future," said Hassum. "For every dollar in grants introduced by Dalton
McGuinty, $1.30 is clawed back by his fee increases."
    "Plans for debt management and textbook subsidies are a bait-and-switch
tactic to distract families from skyrocketing tuition fees," said Hassum. "We
don't need tokenistic gestures and short-sighted strategies; we need to make
education affordable for working families."
    "As the self-proclaimed 'Education Premier', Dalton McGuinty should have
done his homework: students didn't support Mike Harris' higher fees, and we
don't support McGuinty's either," said Hassum. "If McGuinty wants the support
of students and their families in this election, he must roll back his tuition
fee increases and stop the shameful collection of illegal ancillary fees."

    The Canadian Federation of Students represents 500,000 college and
university students across Canada, and over 300,000 students in Ontario.
Students across Ontario are preparing for the October 10 election with a
province-wide awareness campaign to educate voters about where each party
stands on affordable, high quality post-secondary education.

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); Joel Duff, Organiser, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 707-0349

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