As winter’s ice covers
McGuinty’s plan is a “new tuition framework,” or deregulation. The fees students pay for their schooling would be set by “the market” rather than a body elected by and accountable to the people. While the banks would get big profits from debt, Ontarians would get less democratic, less accessible and poorer quality education.
In other parts of
The YCL is 100% behind the CFS in this struggle. But there is a real need to up the anti, and go for militant tactics – for the CFS to team up with as many progressive forces as possible. After all, we’re up against one of the most powerful groups in society: the big corporations and financial interests – aka: capitalism.
McGuinty’s announcement comes at a time when public opinion widely supports tuition fee reductions, and
While the old Harris Torries and the new Mc Guinty Liberals share the same corporate agenda, the Liberals are in a weaker position: they campaigned against the incredibly unpopular Tory agenda they are now steamrolling in using their majority in Queen’s Park.
Last spring, the Liberals presented three options at a stake-holder consolation process: tuition increase, tuition staying the same, or tuition decrease. As the head of the CFS Ontario, Jesse Greener, told Rebel Youth in an interview in late October, CFS leaders wanted to combat youth cynicism with politics and “plug youth into the [stake-holder consultation] process.” He added: “We were told time and time again that, in fact, there had been no decision and that our opinions at the table were valued.” Not true.
Jen Hassum and Estefania Toledo put it accurately in a letter to U of T students: “The stakeholder consultation proved to be a farce, and quite frankly students got screwed.” Well said! With the freeze off, student leaders across
The Next Step
The new CFS tactic is combining plebiscite votes on tuition fees with lobbying. On November 21, Ryerson students voted 97% to reduce tuition fees; November 9,
The lobbying side is summed up by The Varsity headline: “NDP, CFS lobby for new tuition freeze.” Rosario Marchese (NDP Trinity-Spadina) introduced a bill to simply keep the freeze. But currently, the Liberals hold 70 seats at
What could turn it around? Mobilization – large, powerful student protests at Queens Park, occupations of ministers offices, and joint-action with other progressive forces beyond the NDP such as like the labour movement, citizen’s and political organizations that oppose privatization such as the Health Coalition and Communists. “In the past, we have held public forums with the Health Coalition and met with the OFL [Ontario Federation of Labour] working group on tuition,” Greener told RY. It can be done again.
Stopping the Steamroller
A big-time fight could force the hand of McGuinty. In fact,
This magnificent struggle was completely unreported by the corporate media. But at its peak in mid-March, an estimated 230,000 post-secondary students, over half of the total in
- 100% public post-secondary education system
- Reduce then abolish tuition fees and user fees
- Grants not loans! eliminate all current student debt
- Full-funding for Aboriginal education; cut higher fees for international students
- Boldly expand apprenticeships and set compulsory quotas for on the job training
- Make childcare accessible to all students!
- A people’s government in