Students Propose Ancillary Fees Regulation

    McGuinty Government Must Act as College Ancillary Fees Lawsuit Appeal
    Period Ends

    TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario has
proposed a regulation for college and university ancillary fees and is calling
on the McGuinty government to adopt it quickly. The draft regulation codifies
the current prohibition of ancillary fees for tuition-related purposes, such
as libraries, information technology and labs. It also sets a clear threshold
and process for students' approval of legitimate ancillary fees for purposes
such as athletics facilities, campus media organisations, student centres and
students' union membership.
    On Friday, the two former students who filed a $200 million class action
lawsuit against the province's community colleges in June 2007 officially
indicated their intention not to appeal the recent dismissal. Following the
announcement of the dismissal last month, the Honourable John Milloy, Minister
of Training, College and Universities, refused to address the prohibited
ancillary fees problem until after the 30-day appeal period which has now


    "We want rules governing ancillary fees that are fair, transparent, and
actually enforced," said Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of
Students-Ontario. "Only a formal regulation will protect students from
colleges and universities that are charging whatever they think they can get
away with."
    "Since the McGuinty government took office in 2003, three consecutive
Ministers have turned a blind eye while all of the colleges charged prohibited
ancillary fees," said Hassum. "Students are expected not to cheat on their
exams and assignments. But when the colleges cheat by charging students twice
for the same thing, the McGuinty government has not enforced its own rules. A
regulation would eliminate any ambiguity about the Minister of Training,
Colleges and Universities' obligation to protect students and their families
from unfair fees."


    -   Madam Justice Joan L. Lax of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
        dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against all 24 of Ontario's
        public colleges on March 28, deciding that the Minister of Training,
        Colleges and Universities' 'Binding Policy Directive' that prohibits
        colleges and universities from chagrining tuition-related ancillary
        fees does not give students the right to sue. Though the directive is
        binding on the colleges, only the Minister has the power to enforce

    -   Ancillary fees are charged on top of tuition fees. Compulsory
        ancillary fees for tuition-related purposes have been banned for more
        than two decades, yet all 24 of the public colleges are charging at
        least one prohibited ancillary fee.

    -   The most common type of prohibited ancillary fee being charged is for
        information technology. For the 2005-2006 academic year, the average
        annual ancillary fee charged for IT was more than $130-almost 20 per
        cent of the total average ancillary fees paid by each full-time
        college student in Ontario.

    -   Since the 1993-1994 academic year, the Government of Ontario has
        required each public post-secondary institution in the province to
        maintain a Compulsory Non-Tuition-Related Ancillary Protocol that
        must be agreed to by each institution's administration and local
        students' union(s). Despite the protocols and the Binding Policy
        Directive that prohibits tuition-related ancillary fees, some
        colleges have forced students to vote in referenda on prohibited
        tuition-related ancillary fees.

    -   According to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, no
        ancillary fees are to be increased beyond 1993-1994 levels in the
        absence of a valid ancillary fee protocol and only
        non-tuition-related compulsory ancillary fees may be charged. Some
        universities and colleges do not have protocol agreements with their
        students' unions or have protocol agreements that are not dated or

    -   In its submission to the Minister of Finance and the Standing
        Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs during the 2008 Ontario
        pre-budget consultations, the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario
        recommended that $50 million per year should be allocated to replace
        the revenue colleges are generating through the collection of
        prohibited ancillary fees.

    -   With a projected surplus of $600 million, the McGuinty government can
        afford to adequately fund colleges and universities to eliminate any
        need for prohibited ancillary fees.

    -   Between the 1995-1996 and 2003-2004 academic years, Ontario colleges
        reported a near 240 per cent increase in revenue generated from
        ancillary fees. According to the latest data available, in 2005-2006,
        average annual ancillary fees had risen to just over $670 per
        full-time college student. Ancillary fees represent approximately
        23 per cent of the overall fees that each full-time college student
        paid in 2005-2006. Data for university students is more up-to-date.
        Full-time Ontario undergraduate university students each paid $729 in
        ancillary fees, on average, in 2006-2007. That amount is equal to
        12 per cent of the overall fees university students were charged.

    Read the proposed ancillary fees regulation:

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

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, CFS-Ontario: (416)
925-3825 or (416) 832-9073 (cell); Ken Marciniec, Communications Coordinator,
CFS-Ontario: (416) 925-3825 or (416) 803-6066 (cell)

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