Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

May 22, 2012 05:00 ET

OFL's Sid Ryan Calls on the Ontario Student Movement to Take to the Streets to Stop Punishingly High Tuition Fees: OFL Officers to Join Mass Protest in Montreal

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 22, 2012) - Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President Sid Ryan is today calling on the Ontario student movement to follow the lead of Québec students in taking to the streets to stop punishingly high tuition fees. All three OFL officers, including OFL Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Hutchison and Executive Vice-President Irwin Nanda, will be joining a mass rally in Montréal today to protest skyrocketing tuition fees and draconian laws to suppress civil rights.

"The Harper government is pouring federal money into F-35 fighter jets and tax breaks for companies getting rich off the tar sands while Ontario's McGuinty government is funding casinos and corporate tax cuts, but neither government has any money for higher education to support the next generation of workers," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "The only thing that will make governments shift priorities is if Ontario students follow their Québec counterparts in taking to the streets to make affordable education impossible to ignore."

"In Ontario, students face the highest tuition fees, the largest debt, the biggest class sizes and the worst government funding in all of Canada. Quebec's low-fee model of higher education should be the standard for Canada, not the other way around," said Ryan. "Canada is out of step with nearly 20 OECD countries that charge little or no fees for higher education and Ontario has set the Canadian record for the highest fees. It is Québec student militancy that has defended an accessible system for over 30 years and their activism also sets a standard for Ontario and the rest of Canada."

What: Montréal media availability
Where: Place des Festivals, Montréal, Québec (corner of St. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance)
When: 2:00 pm, May 22, 2012
Who: OFL President Sid Ryan, officers and staff of the OFL

"The Charest government has brought in some of the most draconian legislation in Canadian history to strip these students of their basic civil liberties in order to silence a popular message he doesn't want to hear," said Ryan. "He will learn soon enough that you cannot suppress an idea. The OFL leadership is in Montréal today to bring the support of over one million unionized workers in Ontario to Québec students because we want their ideas to spread."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.

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