TORONTO, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario government has quietly said that less than a quarter of Ontario students have received the Ontario Tuition Grant. This program was supposed to pay for 30 per cent of the tuition fees for all eligible undergraduate and college students, touted as benefiting five out of six students.
"Students opposed the problematic administration of this grant and have consistently called for McGuinty to make good on his promise and reduce tuition fees for all Ontario's students," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The low disbursement rate of the Ontario Tuition Grant, combined with the announcement of another five per cent tuition fee hike is proof that a true tuition fee reduction is not only more efficient and effective, it's critical to helping the province's indebted students."
After months of delaying the release of official Ontario Tuition Grant numbers, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray said Monday that about 60 per cent of eligible students have received the grant. In an article in the Toronto Star, McGuinty's chief of staff Chris Morley said that 200,000 students have received it, which is two-thirds of the government's definition of eligible students. Students are calling on the Minister to release the numbers from last semester, including how many students applied, how many students received, how many students were rejected and how the government plans to spend the remaining money that has not been disbursed.
"We warned in January that the government's method of distributing this student aid would not reach all students who were promised this grant," said King. "The Liberals seem more interested in scoring quick political points than actually helping students."
Last night, hundreds of students protested in Toronto against high tuition fees and student debt. Tonight, Casseroles protests, where students bang pots and pans through neighborhoods in support for Quebec students and against Ontario's current tuition fee policy, are happening in Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford, Brampton, Oshawa, Guelph, Kapuskasing, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Minden, London, St. Catharines, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Thomas and towns and cities across Canada. Students will also present to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs tomorrow, June 6, at 3:45 PM at Queen's Park.
For further information:
Nora Loreto, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator: 416-846-6672 or [email protected]