Ontario students begin Provincial Lobby Week in anticipation of 2015 budget

TORONTO, March 9, 2015 /CNW/ - College and university students from across Ontario have arrived in Toronto to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament to discuss student priorities ahead of the 2015 budget.  Students will present decision-makers with a variety of financial and legislative proposals to fix Ontario's broken post-secondary education system and improve the student experience.

"Decades of underfunding colleges and universities in Ontario have created a system of post-secondary education that is unaffordable, overcrowded and unresponsive to student needs," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "This week, students will put forward practical, reasonable and thoughtful solutions to the challenges our sector faces, and we hope MPPs from all parties will support them."

Student proposals include a reduction in tuition fees for all students back to 2005 levels – the last year of the Liberal tuition fee freeze; re-integrating international students into public health insurance; financial, legislative and institutional support to combat sexual violence on campus; and protecting students' unions from interference from college and university administrations.

"From sexual assault prevention to healthcare for international students, affordable education to protecting students' rights, members from all three political parties have expressed interest in addressing these concerns," said Anna Goldfinch, Ontario National Executive Representative. "These proposals can't solve all the problems our colleges and universities face, but they can certainly be a start."

Student representatives from all regions of Ontario and all levels of study will be available to speak with the media between March 9 and 12. The lobby document can be viewed at http://http://www.cfsontario.ca/downloads/CFS-2015.LobbyWeek-Web.pdf.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's oldest and largest student organization, representing over 350,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

Image with caption: "Ontario Lobby Week 2015 (CNW Group/Canadian Federation of Students)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150309_C5629_PHOTO_EN_12936.jpg

For further information: Alastair Woods, Chairperson, 647-378-8942 or chair@cfsontario.ca; Anna Golfinch, National Executive Representative, 647-339-4070 or national@cfsontario.ca

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