Ontario student movement to visit MPPs, call for action for post-secondary education that “puts students over profit”

PV staff  

Ontario’s largest student organization – Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-O) – is hosting its annual Lobby Week from February 25-28, providing post-secondary students with a key opportunity to meet with MPPs. The organization is leading students in calling on Queen’s Park to “establish a fair and inclusive post-secondary education system in Ontario that puts students over profit.”

The organization notes that this year’s lobby occurs against a difficult ongoing backdrop for students. “The escalating cost of living, high inflation and skyrocketing rents have deeply affected students’ lives and their pursuit of higher education,” it said in a February 22 press release. “For many, post-secondary education is now out of reach due to high tuition fees.”

CFS-O says that the current situation is exacerbating ongoing challenges in post-secondary education, arising from decades of underfunding and cuts.

Throughout the week, students will hold meetings with MPPs to address six primary recommendations:

  1. Progressively eliminating tuition fees for all students, by cutting tuition fees by 25 percent annually for the next 4 years.
  2. Increasing grants to Indigenous student services and doubling funding to Indigenous Institutes.
  3. Regulating tuition for international students and taking steps to eliminate tuition fees for international students entirely.
  4. Increasing Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) payments and protecting ODSP from clawbacks.
  5. Increasing provincial funding to graduate students and eliminating tuition fees for graduate programs.
  6. Implementing legislation to protect students’ rights to organize.

In announcing the Lobby Week, CFS-O chairperson Mitra Yakubi called on MPPs to make post-secondary education a priority. “Robust investments and the commitment to a more just post-secondary education system need to be implemented immediately to ensure all students can have access to without worrying about the cost of education.”

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the oldest and largest student organization in Ontario, representing over 350,000 college and university students in every region of the province.

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