Students Say: "Bob Rae is a Disaster for Affordable Public Education"

    Urge Toronto Centre Liberals not to Nominate Bob Rae

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ - Bob Rae, a champion of higher tuition fees and
deeper debt for Ontario's students, is an unpalatable candidate for the
Liberals in the riding of Toronto Centre, according to the Canadian Federation
of Students. Both George Brown College and Ryerson University have campuses in
the riding and many students from Toronto's eight colleges and universities
live in Toronto Centre.
    "Bob Rae has been a disaster for affordable education," said Jesse
Greener, Ontario Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students. "His
record on post-secondary education speaks for itself and his most recent
campaign to deregulate tuition fees hasn't won him any friends among students
and their families."
    In 2004, Rae was commissioned by the Ontario Liberal government to review
post-secondary education. His Review fell into controversy from the outset
when Rae made public statements indicating his desire to see unregulated
tuition fee increases before even beginning consultations.
    "Rae has only ever had one conclusion on his mind, so it was no surprise
that he has consistently ignored student and community input and implemented
an elitist vision for post-secondary education," said Greener. "What we didn't
expect was that he would bring this bias so blatantly to his public duties."
    As advisor to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Bob Rae urged the government to
cancel Ontario's popular tuition fee freeze and drafted the blueprint for the
Reaching Higher plan for tuition fee increases as high as 36% over 4 years.
    "More than 80% of Canadians think tuition fees are already too high and
it's clear that Bob Rae's plans for higher education are out of touch with the
vast majority of voters," said Greener. "At a time when access to
post-secondary education is crucial for the economic success of our country,
Bob Rae would be a disaster representing any university riding."
    "We're putting Bob Rae on notice that students will go door-to-door, if
that's what it takes to stop him," said Greener.

    The Canadian Federation of Students, Canada's national students' union,
unites more than 500,000 college and university students from coast to coast,
and 300,000 students in Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Jesse Greener, Ontario Chairperson at (416)
925-3825 or (416) 301-5747 (cell); Joel Duff, Ontario Organiser at (416)
925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell)

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