Student protesters seated in the public gallery interrupted legislators by shouting chants of “free tuition” followed by profanity directed at the premier. Ford chastised the group and blamed the Opposition for influencing them.
“They should have their mouths washed out with soap. That’s what they should have, because that’s embarrassing,” was Premier Doug Ford’s response.
Many students are upset with the Progressive Conservative government following its announcement that it is ending free tuition for low-income students as it attempts to trim a $13.5 billion deficit. Besides there would also be a 10 per cent tuition fee cut.
The government has said grants under the Ontario Student Assistance Plan had become unsustainable and it was time to refocus the program to provide help to students in the most financial need.
Under the Liberal OSAP program, families earning up to $175,000 could qualify for some funding and that threshold is now reduced to $140,000. Low-income students could qualify for grants large enough to cover the full cost of tuition under the previous plan, but now a portion of the funding they receive will be a loan.
The government also plans to make some fees paid by Ontario college and university students optional instead of mandatory, including those to student governments.
Students rallying outside the legislature Tuesday said the changes will increase student debt and limit access to higher education for many.
Perhaps since so many students are pushing for free education, they must be ready to work for free and won’t complain when they are asked to work for very little compensation once they’re done with school. -CINEWS