Doug Ford is threatening funding to student unions and student groups by changing how students can opt-out of paying dues. Students already have a democratic process to change membership dues. The Ford Government is making these changes to destroy student groups and students political power.
Organizations that are funded by student-dues include health and dental plans, subsidized bus passes, sexual assault support centres, services for LGBTQ2S students, Indigenous students and students with disabilities, food banks, funding for clubs and societies, academic services including workshops and events, and academic appeal support.
The Ford Government is making the student debt crisis worse by making students pay interest on debt upon graduation. The Government is also slashing OSAP grant funding to low and middle-income students, and the change is retroactive so many students are seeing grants they have already received being converted into loans. Making education more expensive will make it far harder for students from low and middle-income families to access higher education, which is the path to a decent paying job.
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario,
WHEREAS a ten percent tuition cut with no increase to government funding will have a huge negative impact on post-secondary education, especially on workers, low-income students, and students who rely on campus wellbeing and accessibility services;
WHEREAS eliminating the O.S.A.P. tuition grants for low-income students will make post-secondary education even less accessible;
WHEREAS eliminating the six-month interest-free grace period for student loans will increase the student debt burden and make post-secondary study less accessible to low-income students;
WHEREAS switching to an opt-in model for student organizations will radically defund equity-based campus groups, undercut students’ ability to advocate for their interests, and cause job losses for hundreds of workers employed by student organizations;
We the UNDERSIGNED, petition the Ontario Legislative Assembly of Ontario to stop attacking student union and student groups funding, reverse their policy changes to O.S.A.P. by restoring the six-month interest-free grace period and the 2018 model of grant and loan ratios, and match the ten percent tuition cut with an equal funding increase to Ontario colleges and universities.