By Vanessa Greco
As Ontario claimed the title of most expensive province for post-secondary education, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) reps took to Parliament Hill lobbying for more government funding.
Ontario surged ahead of Nova Scotia in the running for the province with the highest tuition fees in Canada, according to a Statistics Canada report released on Oct. 20.
Fresh out of a meeting with Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy, Toby Whitfield, RSU vice-president finance and services spoke out against mounting tuition fees in Ontario.
“While we’re number one in this case, it’s not a competition worth winning,” said Whitfield, over a choppy phone connection from Ottawa.
RSU President Jermaine Bagnall believes that the recent findings are a call to action.
“It’s a devious number one title to have,” he said, urging students to talk to local MPs.
In their own meetings with federal MPs and senators, the RSU brainstormed a proposed Postsecondary Education Act — a national outline for how federal cash will be transferred to provinces and distributed to colleges and universities. Other plans include more funds for grants and research.
Earlier this year, Ryerson President Sheldon Levy told students that tuition will increase by five per cent in the current academic year.
In 2006, Premier Dalton McGuinty cancelled the province’s tuition fee freeze. Fees have been steadily increasing since.
According to Joel Duff, organizer at the Canadian Federation of Students, Ontario has the highest tuition fees and the largest class sizes.
— With files from Shirley Lin