Students walkout of class to protest Ford government changes to post-secondary education
Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019 12:00PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:24PM EDT
Students across Ontario- including Carleton University- walked out of class Wednesday in protest the Ford government’s changes to education.
Students say they are showing the government they will not tolerate cuts to education and student services. They are worried about the Progressive Conservative government’s elimination of free tuition for low-income students. Other main concerns include a 10-per-cent tuition fee cut for all students.
One student says. “I used to get a lot of grants and those are gone under the new OSAP changes.”
Another student says “As a low income student, and my family has worked hard to take me to university, I have to strive so hard to literally pay my tuition fee.”
Ashely Courchene says, “I am the current vice-president finance of the Grad Student Association. And in our offices we are really scared about what is going to happen, we don’t know how many students are going to opt in and how many are going to stay in.
The coordinated protests were organized by the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFSO), which represents both full-time and part-time students at college, undergraduate and graduate levels. The CFSO described the changes in its Facebook event page as an “attack on students.”
The previous Liberal government increased the number of grants and made it possible for low-income students to attend college or university free of cost. But the auditor general found last month that costs for that program jumped by 25 per cent and warned it could grow to $2 billion annually by 2020-21.
The changes were announced in January.
Other universities and colleges that participated in student rallies including Ryerson University, George Brown College, OCAD University and the University of Toronto campuses of Mississauga, Scarborough and St. George.