Toronto, April 11, 2019 - Today's release of the 2019 provincial budget promises
higher student debt and unprecedented challenges for campuses across Ontario.
"Once again, the Ford government has ignored the majority of people in this province
who oppose their harmful and ill-conceived changes to our education system," said
Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "This
budget will leave students with more debt and fewer services as a result of the
Premier's politically-motivated attack on democratic students' unions."
Highlights of the budget include:
- A new framework for charging non-academic student fees, known as the Student Choice
Initiative, intended to defund democratic student organizations;
- More than $670 million dollars in cuts to student financial assistance; and
- Extraordinary changes to the college and university funding formulas, which will
tie 60 per cent of institutional funding to performance based-outcomes.
The dramatic shift in the college and university funding formulas will see the amount
of outcomes-based funding for institutions increase from 1.2-1.4 per cent in 2018-19
to 60 per cent in 2024-25. The concept of outcomes-based funding has been widely
criticized by students, faculty and institutions throughout multiple rounds of consultations
dating back to 2010.
"This new funding model throws caution to the wind with the future of our post-secondary
education system. Forcing colleges and universities to compete for the majority
of their funding poses a huge risk to many post-secondary institutions, particularly
in remote and northern communities, as well as smaller campuses, who will be at
a huge disadvantage," said Alideeb.
"This government is creating a system of winners and losers. Students are determined
to keep fighting alongside this growing movement who opposes the Ford government's
plan to gamble with our future."
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.