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Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario response to Open Letter from Ontario Liberal Party Campaign Chair Greg Sorbara

Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario response to Open Letter from Ontario Liberal Party Campaign Chair Greg Sorbara

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Published by: climbrandon on Oct 14, 2011
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Greg SorbaraOntario Liberal PartyCampaign Chair10 St. Mary Street, Suite 210Toronto, ON M4Y 1P9Tuesday, September 27, 2011
 Dear Mr. Sorbara,Thank you for your letter requesting clarification about the Canadian Federation of Students'Ontario Election Report Card and the commitment made by the New Democratic Party toincrease per student funding. We share your desire to ensure that student voters are not misleadby promises meant only to win their votes rather than genuine attempts to improve post
secondary education.In our Report Card, we gave the NDP an A for funding because they committed to increasing perstudent funding to above the national average, if elected. After receiving your letter, we againasked NDP representatives to clarify their commitment. They have reaffirmed that if elected theywill work with stakeholder organizations to develop a multi
year funding framework thatprogressively increases per student funding to above the national average.Ontario has the lowest per student funding in Canada, $15,000 less per student than in Alberta.As a result, students in Ontario study in the largest classes, have the least contact with theirprofessors and pay the most for their education. Unfortunately, the Ontario Liberal Party haschosen not to make per student funding for post
secondary education a priority. This isregrettable, but not a reason to penalize other parties who have made commitments to improveper
student funding for post
secondary education.The Canadian Federation of Students is deeply concerned with the current state and future of higher education in Ontario. We must not kid ourselves: real access to a universal system is notpossible with tuition fees of $6,600 on average. Tuition fees in Ontario have been the highest inCanada for three years in a row, rising by up to 59 per cent in the past six years.The silence of the OLP on their future tuition fee policy paired with their record of fee hikesearned them an F. Rather than addressing the cost of record
high tuition fees, the OLP haspromised to offer a grant to some students while allowing tuition fees for everyone else to rise.According to Colleges Ontario, nearly two
thirds of college applicants do not apply to collegefrom high school. This means that, regardless of income, the OLP plan will automaticallydisqualify the majority of Ontario's college students from grant eligibility. Students inprofessional programs and graduate students are also excluded from the accessing this grant.Despite our concerns with the proposed grant, we gave your party an A for addressing studentdebt. We took a similar approach with the NDP's funding commitment.

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