Ontario Student Assistance Program Cuts Hit College and University Students Hard
“Doug Ford is dragging Ontario backwards with his callous cuts to OSAP. Instead of investing in young people, he is ripping away financial assistance, ensuring that only the wealthiest Ontarians are guaranteed the bright future promised by post-secondary education.” – Chris Glover, Ontario NDP critic for Colleges and Universities
News from Ontario’s Official Opposition and New Democracy Party
Posted June 24th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
NDP calls for OSAP grants to be reinstated
QUEEN’S PARK — Chris Glover, Ontario NDP critic for Colleges and Universities, said it’s simply wrong for Doug Ford to plow ahead with cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) — especially now, as students share their stories of the devastating consequences. Some of the many students who have learned just how much financial assistance Ford is ripping away from them joined Glover at Queen’s Park on Monday.
When Daniel Mutton found out his OSAP had been reassessed, his first thought was that he would have to drop out. He had already used $6,000 of the $13,500 he was promised for his final term at Niagara College, where he is training to become a mechanic.
Now, because his mom’s pension is just $2,000 higher than originally calculated, he is losing roughly $5,500. Now his parents are considering using their line of credit to help Mutton complete the term.
Jacob Falardeau, a York University student, is seeing his OSAP slashed in half, which leaves him around $12,000 short of covering his tuition and living expenses. Now, even if Falardeau works full time while in school, he faces the uncertainty of whether he’ll be able to make ends meet.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see the impact Doug Ford’s cuts to OSAP are having on students,” said Glover.
“Students shouldn’t be forced to give up their dreams of going to college or university because cost is a barrier. Students shouldn’t be forced to drop out of college or university part-way through their studies because they can’t afford to continue. And students shouldn’t have to juggle jobs and their studies, only to graduate with crushing amounts of debt and all the anxiety that comes with it.”
Deep cuts to non-repayable grants account for the bulk of the more than $700 million in funding slashed from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in Doug Ford’s first budget.
“Doug Ford is dragging Ontario backwards with his callous cuts to OSAP. Instead of investing in young people, he is ripping away financial assistance, ensuring that only the wealthiest Ontarians are guaranteed the bright future promised by post-secondary education.”
Finances were already tight for Kaitlyn Jonescu’s family after her mom lost her job because of Doug Ford’s health-care cuts. Jonescu, who is in her second year of studies at Brock University, was shocked to learn last week that she would be receiving less than $500 in loans. Earlier estimates suggested she would be receiving $3,000 in OSAP.
“Young people deserve so much better than for Ford to pull the rug out from under them with claw backs to student financial assistance,” said Glover. “We should be converting student loans to grants, not making deep cuts to the supports that will help young people build a good life in Ontario.
“That’s why I am calling on Doug Ford to immediately reverse his cuts to OSAP and properly fund post-secondary education.”
An Afterword from Doug Draper, journalist and publisher of Niagara At Large –
An investment in our young people is an investment in a more prosperous future for them and for all of us.
And if there are any doubters in that among aging baby boomers and seniors out there, just ask yourselves who is going to pay for your health care and other senior assistance if our yount people do not have the opportunity and the assistance they need to get a good education and to get good jobs so that they can contribute to an economy that can pay for those services.
If you agree that investing in our young people so that they can go on and contribute to an economy that can make life better for all of us, contact the Office of Premier Doug Ford and contact all of the Ford Tory MPPs in your region of the province and demand that the cuts to student assistance be reversed.
In Niagara, the only elected representative for the Ford government is Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, a self-described “right to life” advocate who went out on the lawns of Queen’s Park this spring to express his support to individuals staging an anti-abortion rally.
Contact Sam Oosterhoff and urge him to speak out against the cuts to student assistance for our college and university students. While you are doing it, you may wish to remind the MPP that at least some of the fetuses he would do so much to protect may grow up and want to go to college or university to improve the quality of their lives.
A true “right to lifer” would care about the welfare of all life from conception and childhood, and onward through their their adult years and final passing.
You may also want to remind the MPP that there are only three years left for those who continue on, like a mindless, partisan automaton, supporting Ford’s cruel and destructive war against our young people, against almost any other people who are vulnerable and in need of a hands up, and against our environment.
To contact Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, click on – https://www.samoosterhoffmpp.ca/contact
And please keep any message you send to an MPP or to anyone else civil.
Don’t behave like a troll. As Michelle Obama famously said: “When they go low, we go high.”
- Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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