OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - College and university students from across Ontario are meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to pressure the federal government to take action on high tuition fees. The meetings are part of the National Lobby Week of the Canadian Federation of Students.
"Students in Ontario pay almost three times what students in Newfoundland pay for the same education," said Alastair Woods. "The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that no student is denied access to a college or university education because of where they live."
Undergraduate and graduate tuition fees in Ontario are higher than in any other province. Despite significantly investing in post-secondary education, the federal government has no oversight mechanism to ensure funding reaches colleges and universities.
High tuition fees have lead to record-levels of student debt. Students across Canada collectively owe more than $15 billion to the federal government. In Ontario, students owe another $2.6 billion to the provincial government.
Students are recommending establishing a post-secondary education act, modelled on the Canada Health Act, that would ensure equitable access to affordable post-secondary education across the country. As well, students are calling on the federal government to reduce federal student debt by half.
"The Ontario government has made it clear that they will not prioritize increasing funding for post-secondary education and reducing tuition fees," said Woods. "It's time for federal leadership on making affordable college and university education a reality across Canada."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the largest student organization in the province, representing over 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Alastair Woods, Ontario Chairperson, 647-378-8942
Kaley Kennedy, Government Relations Coordinator (Ontario), 647-302-3891