Ontario Students Hit the Books before they hit the Polls

    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - Ontario's post-secondary students are excited
for the new academic year, as back-to-school jitters mix with a federal
election that will impact the affordability, accessibility and quality of
post-secondary education.
    Thousands of students will be hitting the polls for the first time in
this election and they will be seriously considering what the candidates are
saying about post-secondary education. "Reducing student debt and committing
to a predictable, targeted and increased level of funding for post-secondary
education in Canada are issues of paramount importance to students," said
Trevor Mayoh, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).
    The landscape for funding of post-secondary education in Canada is
changing. The current plans for the implementation of the Canada Student Grant
Program (CSGP) and the disappearance of the Canada Millennium Scholarship
Foundation could result in a possible increase of $1000 in debt for each
academic year for the students that already have the highest need. Further,
students have expressed their concerns to government regarding the lack of
assistance directed at helping underrepresented groups, such as rural and
aboriginal students, access post-secondary education.
    Ontario students are also calling on the candidates to commit to
increased funding for post-secondary education by creating a new, more
accountable dedicated transfer payment. Currently, post secondary education
falls under the federal Canada Social Transfer. This federal program provides
monetary support to the provinces for post-secondary education and social
services, without adequate transparency or accountability. Students feel that
it is absolutely necessary that any new federal government provide a
transparent, predictable, and accountable structure by further dividing the
Canada Social Transfer and creating a dedicated transfer for post-secondary
    "As Ontario students prepare to go to the polls, they are hoping that a
true Pan-Canadian leader will advocate for an accountable funding structure, a
reduction in debt and a positive academic experience," said Howie Bender,
Executive Director of OUSA. "The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is
working hard with our stakeholders and members to help students make an
informed and educated vote on October 14th."

    OUSA represents the interests of more than 135,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province.
    For more information on OUSA's current policy and campaign initiatives,
please visit www.ousa.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Trevor Mayoh, President, OUSA, (416) 341-9948;
Howie Bender, Executive Director, OUSA, (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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