Students Ready to Tackle Poverty through Education

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - Ontario's college and college/university
students stand ready and able to assist the government in tackling the poverty
agenda, says the College Student Alliance (CSA). Today's Speech from the
Throne delivered by the Lieutenant Governor David Onley, focused on
strengthening all Ontarians with an emphasis on less fortunate.
    "Students are pleased to see that the government is following through on
its election promise to improve the knowledge and skills of all Ontarians,"
says Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy. "A postsecondary education is
essential to achieve future success, not only as an individual but as a
province and country."
    Today's Throne Speech promises to ensure more accessibility and
affordability of postsecondary education through a new special distance grant
for students from the north and remote areas as well as a textbook and
technology grant of $300 for every college and university student each year
they are enrolled in higher education. Access to postsecondary education and
its relative affordability must be addressed as the Conference Board of Canada
has projected a labour shortage of some 360,000 for Ontario by 2025.
    "When it comes to our under-represented citizens and students in Ontario,
we must do more," says Jon Hendel, Vice President of the College Student
Alliance and President of the Student Union of Confederation College (SUCCI).
"If Ontario wants to compete with the growing powers of India, China and
Brazil then we must act quickly to bring all Ontarians into the fold and that
includes our Aboriginal students, students with disabilities, first generation
students, rural students and students from low-income families."
    The CSA is encouraged by the signs that this government is willing to
turn the corner on the under-funding of our postsecondary education system and
we are looking forward to future discussions on how to make our colleges and
universities more accessible and affordable for current and future students.
Per capita funding for college students in Ontario still lags behind that of
secondary and university students as well as our counterparts in all other
nine Canadian provinces.

    The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services
organization which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and
college/university students since 1975. The CSA currently represents 16
colleges and 23 student councils with over 109,000 full-time student members
throughout the province.

For further information:

For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, T:
(416) 340-1212, C: (416) 346-9951, E:

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