The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) congratulates the Ontario Liberal Party and Premier Wynne on their re-election in Ontario. Students are eager to begin working with all elected Members of Provincial Parliament to address many of the challenges currently facing post-secondary students in Ontario.
During the election, the Liberal Party of Ontario pledged $500M over ten years to address deferred maintenance on Ontario’s campuses and to increase post-secondary enrolment by 15,000 seats on existing and new college and university campuses. The Party also committed to introducing Experience Ontario, a nine-month paid community service work program for high school students prior to their transition into post-secondary or the labour market.
“Despite a lack of focus on post-secondary education in the Party’s original budget, students are hopeful that Premier Wynne will make post-secondary education a priority for the Party for the next four years,” said Jen Carter, OUSA President and Vice-President External of the University Students’ Council (USC) of Western University. “Although students are appreciative of past investments the Party has made in post-secondary, further investment is needed to address serious issues relating to the affordability and accessibility of Ontario’s higher education system.”
In May, students released their vision for the future of post-secondary education in a government submission titled “An Educated Election: Ontario’s Student Platform.” Students advocate for the reallocation of ineffective tuition and education tax credits, the expansion of co-operative education learning opportunities to students from underrepresented academic disciplines, the extension of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) eligibility to part-time students, a one-year tuition freeze, and the creation of open-access textbooks and academic resources. To learn more about these priorities, click here.
“I’m very proud of the work done by student leaders across the province to keep their peers politically informed during this election,” continued Carter. “Through OUSA’s It’s Your Vote campaign, we hope that young people in Ontario were motivated to head to the polls and make their voices heard.”