By Raneem Alozzi and Sherina Harris
UPDATE: Latest development in this story here.
Transit passes will be considered essential fees that students cannot opt out of, the minister of training, colleges and universities announced on Twitter.
“After hearing from stakeholders, it is clear that transit passes need to be considered mandatory under our Student Choice Initiative,” Mereilee Fullerton’s tweet read. “Ontario students need to have safe access to campus, work and home.
On Jan 17. the ministry released a policy which would allow students to choose which ancillary fees they would like to opt into.
Essential services will be decided by the post-secondary institutions based on a framework provided by the ministry. However, universities will decide which fees are essential, according to Fullerton’s communications director Stephanie Rea.
In a statement previously provided to The Eyeopener, Rea said “students will choose the services they wish to support through an on-line process, which would be required to be available at the time students register and make arrangement to pay tuition and ancillary fees.”
If the RU-Pass is deemed essential, students won’t be able to opt out of Ryerson University’s RU-Pass, which passed in a referendum in November. The RU-Pass will cost students $280 per semester and provide them with unlimited access to buses, subways and streetcars in Toronto.
Correction: A previous version of this post stated that students would not be able to opt out of the RU-Pass, but this has not yet been confirmed. The Eye regrets this error