TORONTO, April 5, 2012 /CNW/ - College and University students have occupied the constituency office of Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray. They have issued the following statements:
"Ontario has the highest tuition fees in Canada and Minister Glen Murray has broken his election promise to reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent. Fees will go up by five per cent next fall, totaling a 71 per cent increase for many programs since 2006," said Melissa Palermo, Vice-President Education for the Ryerson Students' Union.
"Students have gathered both inside and outside of Glen Murray's office to demand that the Liberal's Ontario Tuition Grant scheme be turned into a true tuition fee reduction for all students," said Alastair Woods, Vice-President, Campaigns and Advocacy for the York Federation of Students.
"Graduate students who have had grants and bursaries cut are ineligible for the Ontario Tuition Grant. Dalton McGuinty is providing some assistance to middle-class families on the backs of older students and graduate students are desperate for relief from the highest graduate tuition fees in Canada," said Daniel Vandervoort, External Commissioner for the Graduate Students' Union at the University of Toronto.
"As a single mother nearing the end of my studies in early childhood education. I've joined today's occupation to demand that the Ontario government reverse their decision to increase tuition fees next fall," said Cindy Brownlee, Director of Education and Equity for the Student Association of George Brown College.
"As a result of tuition fee increases and $100 million dollars cut to grants and scholarship programs, for every $1 invested into student aid, $1.20 will be clawed back. We support these students and add our voice to their call for an affordable and accessible system of post-secondary education," said Sandy Hudson, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, who joined the solidarity rally outside of Murray's office.
This year, the federal government has allowed student debt to climb past $15 billion. Ontario students collectively owe $9 billion in student debt. "Students cannot afford to pay for their education and until we get assurances that fees will not increase, business cannot continue as usual," said Palermo.
The solidarity rally will feature speakers at 11:30 outside of Murray's constituency office.
For further information:
Caitlin Smith, student inside Minister Glen Murray's office: 647-637-5317
Alastair Woods, solidarity rally outside Minister Glen Murray's office: 647-378-8942