Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

February 01, 2012 11:51 ET

Media Advisory: OFL President Sid Ryan Calls on McGuinty to Implement A Real Tuition Fee Reduction

Labour Movement to Join Student Day of Action to Drop Tuition Fees

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2012) - Frustrated by Premier Dalton McGuinty's broken promise to reduce tuition fees, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) will be joining students today for a massive rally to drop tuition fees. OFL President Sid Ryan is calling on the province to scrap its boutique "tuition rebate grant" and replace it with an across-the-board tuition fee reduction that would reduce upfront education costs for all students.

"Students don't need more excuses or exceptions and they certainly don't need more bureaucracy. Premier McGuinty has allowed Ontario's tuition fees to rise from fourth place to the highest in Canada and his current proposal is a transparent way to soften the blow of an increasingly exclusive education system," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "When the Premier promised to reduce tuition fees, students believed him. Many of them even voted for him. Students and their families expect him to deliver on his promise."

Under the banner "Education is a Right," students have been organizing on campuses across Canada to protest the Premier's decision to implement an ill-defined "tuition rebate grant" for selected students, instead of a tuition fee reduction. Under McGuinty's plan, college and university fees would continue to climb but some students would receive a 30 percent rebate, while others would receive no relief. To make matters worse, the government has cancelled several other programs that delivered financial aid to students in order to subsidize the rebate, meaning that it is students themselves who are paying for a portion of the new grant.

The Toronto rally is part of a nation-wide student Day of Action to call for investment in affordable, accessible and quality public post-secondary education.

WHAT: Labour movement to join students in Day of Action to Drop Tuition Fees
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2012
WHERE: Queen's Park, South Lawn, Toronto, ON (College St & University Ave.)
WHO: OFL President Sid Ryan

"It is time that McGuinty got his priorities straight and to start investing in providing jobs and opportunities to Ontario's families. With the billions of public dollars that McGuinty has handed out in tax cuts to profitable corporations, he could have eliminated tuition fees for every student. With no viable job creation strategy, investing in post-secondary education is Ontario's most promising option for competing in the knowledge-based economy," said Ryan.

For more information on the Canadian Federation of Students Day of Action, visit: www.EducationIsARight.ca.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. OFL President Sid Ryan is the voice of Ontario's labour movement.

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