Throne Speech Neglects Student Debt in its Anti-Poverty Agenda

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - College and university students across Ontario
were concerned that today's throne speech failed to address the financial
burden being placed on students and their families because of high tuition
    "Students were enthusiastic about previous indications from the Ontario
government that fighting poverty would be a priority," said Jen Hassum,
Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "But the lack of
attention to skyrocketing tuition fees is cause for concern."
    The Federation cites high tuition fees as the root cause of the tripling
of student debt in the last 15 years and students' growing reliance on food
    "With seventy-five percent of new jobs requiring post-secondary
education, it is vital that tuition fees not be priced out of reach," said
Hassum. "If the McGuinty government is serious about tackling poverty it needs
to commit to more than a limited textbook grant by including tuition fee
reductions for students and their families."
    According to recent polling data from the Canadian Association of
University Teachers and the Canadian Federation of Students, 88% of Ontarians
think tuition fees should be frozen or lowered. In the same study, it was
reported that 62% of Ontarians think that addressing student debt and high
fees is the single most important issue within Ontario's post-secondary
education sector.
    "Students and their families continue to call for the new Government of
Ontario to roll back tuition fee increases, end the collection of illegal
ancillary fees, and reinvest in need-based grants," said Hassum.

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

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson: (416) 925-3825 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); Jesse Greener, Campaigns and Government Relations
Coordinator: (416) 925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell)

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