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Fight over enrolment ensues between Liberal MPP, PC minister

Liberal MPP Coteau, PC minister Ross Romano fight over OSAP cuts.



File photo via Pexels.

The provincial post-secondary education minister fired back after a Liberal member of provincial parliament accused his government of hiding enrolment numbers after the ruling Progressive Conservatives made cuts to student loans earlier this year, starting a public war of accusations that continued on Thursday.

It started when Michael Coteau, who is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party, wrote an open letter on Tuesday claiming that the province was hiding an enrolment drop due to cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

The minister the letter was addressed to, Ross Romano, responded by calling the claim “baseless and without merit“, pointing to a five per cent increase in university applications for the upcoming academic year. Enrolment number for colleges are not yet available.

Coteau fired back on Thursday, saying in a statement that the minister is dismissing the “very real fears” of Ontario’s students, which he called a “callous approach that is completely unacceptable.”

Earlier this year, the provincial government introduced a financial reform package that cut 10 per cent from domestic tuition, cut OSAP grants and loans, cut funding to post-secondary institutions and introduced the Student Choice Initiative.  ■

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