June 8, 2018
Toronto, ON - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) congratulates the Progressive Conservative Party and Doug Ford on their election in Ontario. Students look forward to working with all elected and re-elected Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to address the many challenges currently facing post-secondary students in Ontario. OUSA looks forward to working with all MPPs in the ridings in which our member campuses reside. Additionally, OUSA would like to thank Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party for their work to improve the lives of post-secondary students over the last several years.
During the election, the Progressive Conservative Party pledged to invest $1.9 billion over 10 years for mental health and addiction services. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Progressive Conservative Party, and their MPPs, to implement this promise and other student priorities.
The Progressive Conservative Party under the leadership of Doug Ford will have an important impact on post-secondary education. During the next year tuition prices will be under review as the current tuition framework expires. This government will need to publicize the results of the recent Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey and determine how to address the problem of sexual violence on campuses. Mental health is a crisis on campuses across Ontario and the Progressive Conservative Party will have to respond to the plan students have outlined to solve it. Programs like the Open Textbook Library that stand to save students thousands of dollars every year will also require continued investment.
“Although the Progressive Conservative party did not explicitly state their commitment to post-secondary education in their ‘Plan for the People,’ students hope that Doug Ford's leadership will take steps to improve post-secondary quality and accessibility,” said Danny Chang, OUSA President and Vice-President of the University Students’ Council at Western University. “Students are optimistic about the Party’s pledges to devote significant funding to mental health and addiction services, and we’re excited to engage the new government of Ontario on student issues and priorities. Students also recognize that investments need to be made directly into Ontario’s post-secondary education sector to improve affordability, accessibility, and quality. We're looking forward to engaging all elected members on issues facing students, and working together to help develop the leaders of tomorrow."
To recognize the importance of student voting in this election, OUSA ran a Pledge to Vote campaign that encouraged young voters to get informed and cast their ballots. Our eight member schools ran successful on-the-ground campaigns at their university campuses, where they spread voting information, students pledged to vote, and shared what issues were on their minds as they cast their ballots. Thousands of students pledged to vote in our #StudentsVote campaign, largely due to the success of social media initiatives and emails reminding students to register and go out and vote on Election Day. We are optimistic about the future of post-secondary education in this province and collaborating with the Progressive Conservative Party in order to address the concerns that brought many young voters to the polls this election.
“Through OUSA’s #StudentsVote campaign, we hope that young people in Ontario were motivated to head to the polls to make their voices heard, and that the campaign was successful in cutting confusion surrounding the voting process,” continued Chang. “I’m proud of my fellow student leaders who worked hard to keep their peers politically informed throughout this election campaign.”
OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations a cross Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario. To achieve this vision we’ve come together to develop solutions to challenges facing higher education, build broad consensus for our policy options, and lobby government to implement them.
Operations & Communications Director
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance