Students engage in intensive Lobby Week at Queen's Park

    Meetings with provincial politicians highlight unsustainable fees and
    campus infrastructure

    TORONTO, May 1 /CNW/ - Students from colleges and universities across
Ontario have been at Queen's Park this week, meeting with Members of
Provincial Parliament from all three parties to advocate for affordable
education, greater mobility between colleges and universities, and more
sustainable campuses.
    "Over 15 years, tuition fees have risen 4 times faster than the rate of
inflation and now Ontario has amongst the highest fees in the country," said
Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.
"Quality and affordability are suffering because Ontario's per capita funding
for higher education is the worst in Canada and students are looking to
McGuinty's new government to develop a plan to fix the system."

    Students are recommending that the Ontario government should:

    1.  Improve access by rolling back tuition fess, freeze them at 2004-2005
        levels for all students and fund a corresponding public reinvestment
        in colleges and universities.

    2.  Improve accountability by adopting a new regulation, drafted by the
        Canadian Federation of Students, to enforce rules prohibiting the
        collection of ancillary fees that duplicate tuition fees and invest
        $50 million per year to replace revenue currently being
        inappropriately collected from college students.

    3.  Improve fairness by replacing private health care fees for
        international students with full coverage under the Ontario Health
        Insurance Program (OHIP).

    4.  Improve academic mobility by developing a province-wide credit
        transfer system that allows students to easily transfer between
        public post-secondary institutions and save costs.

    5.  Improve sustainability by transforming Ontario's portion of the
        federal infrastructure trust fund into a sustainable building fund
        for colleges and universities.

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites over 300,000 college
and university students and more than 35 students' unions throughout the


    "Post-secondary education is being priced out of reach for many Ontario
families and it is time that Ontario got serious about removing the financial
barriers to colleges and universities," said Dan Mayer, Laurentian University.
    "College students across Ontario are wrongfully being charged
tens-of-millions of dollars for lab, library and technology services that are
already funded through tuition fees. We want fair and transparent rules for
ancillary fees that are actually enforced," said Patrick Roome, La Cité
    "Students seeking to expand their studies at a new school lose time and
money by needlessly retaking the same course. It is time that the government
stepped in to ensure that all college and university credits are recognised
everywhere in Ontario," said Shelley Melanson, Carleton University.
    "International students in Ontario are already paying tuition fees that
are more than three times higher than domestic students. Excluding
international students from public health care means they pay high private
health costs for second-class treatment," said Sandy Hudson, University of
    "Students are taking action to promote sustainability on their campuses
and this week we are taking the message to Queen's Park that proper funding
for sustainable public infrastructure must be a top priority," said Monique
Woolnough, Sierra Youth Coalition.

For further information:

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

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