The grades are in: from D to B+, Ontario's election parties need to hit the books

TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2011 /CNW/ - Students have evaluated each of the political parties' platforms and the grades are in: out of five categories ranging from tuition fees to research funding, the NDP got the highest of the four main parties with a B+. The Greens and Liberals were right behind with a B- and C+ respectively and the Progressive Conservatives trailed with an overall mark of D.

"Students want all parties to have clear and inclusive promises to fix the chronic problems that plague the higher education sector in Ontario," said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The Greens and NDP were the only parties to commit to stopping tuition fee hikes, address student debt and fund quality and research."

The report card grades are based on the parties' platforms announced as of Friday, September 16, and responses to a questionnaire circulated in August. Students are calling on each of the parties to do a make-up test to improve their grades. Students will recognize any change to a party's grade.

"Post-secondary education featured prominently in this election, but no party has promised to roll back the Liberals' tuition fee hikes of up to 59 per cent," said Ontario National Executive Representative Krisna Saravanamuttu. "With Ontario students collectively owing more than $7 billion in student loans, we need the parties to promise to make meaningful investments to reduce the upfront costs and address student debt. If they make progressive changes, they'll receive a higher mark."

"The most effective way to increase the affordability and accessibility of college and university is to roll back tuition fee increases. To improve their marks, students challenge the parties to tackle tuition fees directly, fund quality and research, and earn our support and the support of our families," said Hudson.

The report card will be distributed to hundreds of thousands of students on campuses across Ontario and can be downloaded in English and in French. Students have also produced a long-form report card that explains the rationale for the grades in greater detail. Click here to see the long form explanation for the Green Party [FR], the Liberal Party [FR], the NDP [FR] and the Progressive Conservatives [FR].

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province. Visit to find out more about students' election campaign.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Sandy Hudson, Ontario Chairperson: 416-925-3825 or 416-722-8842 (cell) Nora Loreto, Communications Coordinator: 416-925-3825 or 416-846-6672 (cell)

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