Eli Ridder | Report
The Ontario Student Assistance Program has started promoting the 10 per cent tuition cut for domestic students that will come into play this fall on the home page of the government organization’s homepage — a change that came to the attention of The Avro Post on Friday.
The highlighted promotion, however, does not note the significant cuts to grants offered for the past two years that allowed some 200,000 low-income post-secondary students to attend school in Ontario largely for free.
The provincial government under Premier Doug Ford made cuts in January to grants, eliminated a post-graduation grace period on interest for school loans and introduced optional student fees that threaten campus organizations.
The promotion, highlighted in a yellow bulletin box, says that “going to college and university in Ontario will be more affordable thanks to a 10 [per cent] tuition reduction for Ontario students”.
Opposition politicians in the New Democratic Party — who promised free tuition and loan forgiveness in the 2018 provincial election, Liberals, the single Green, national student groups and other critics have overwhelmingly condemned the grant cuts.
Critics say that the tuition cut does not make up for the many grants that students will lose out on. The ruling Progressive Conservatives have said it will help the province tackle massive debt that the previous Liberal administration racked up.
The deficit, which Tories peg at $14.5 billion and the financial accountability officer said was at $12 billion, was a focal point of the Ford government during campaigning, promising to trim costs to tackle the issue.
Cuts across green energy programs and initiatives, education, healthcare, research and other areas have stirred up backlash from interest groups, unions, companies and politicians. Students in particular have held several rallies at Queen’s Park.
Image of Doug Ford from files, image of OSAP logo from OSAP.