Excalibur (York University) Article on the Tuition Freeze

The Excal has an article about Tuition Fees in Ontario. You can read it here:
I will pick out this quote for comment:

In an interview with New Democratic Party (NDP) education critic, Rosario Marchese, he affirms that the Liberal government needs to do more.
“At the university level, students are paying 43 per cent of their own education.
[From] 1990 to 1991, they were paying 21 per cent. They have more than doubled. Deregulated programs have tripled or quadrupled in some cases. It has become an intolerable burden,” says Marchese.

Whos fault is that? Gee, would it be the NDP Government that started it all by hiking fees 53% in one term including one year where the NDP hikes tuition in September then turned around and hike it in January as well. Remember that these fee hikes were the trigger that sent tuition skyrocketing across the country and now the NDP is trying to be Knight in shining armour on the issue?
Mr. Marchese is definitely working hard to blame everyone else for what the NDP did.
He has tabled a private members bill to freeze tuition.
The CFS sent out a press release praising him for it.
(from the CFS)

Proposed Tuition Fee Freeze Legislation Welcome
– Private Member’s Bill Would End Tuition Fee Hikes until the Next
Election –
TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ – A private member’s bill introduced by Ontario New Democratic Party Post-Secondary Education Critic Rosario Marchese would, if adopted, ensure that tuition fees would not increase before the next
Ontario election says the Canadian Federation of Students.
“A clear commitment to extending the tuition fee freeze until the next Ontario election would be a welcome step forward,” said Jesse Greener, Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Right now, Ontario families are extremely worried about what will happen to tuition fees next September. Legislating a freeze until the end of the current government’s mandate would provide assurance that tuition fees won’t be skyrocketing next
“Placing a private member’s bill before the Ontario Legislative Assembly will also give Ontarians a clear picture of where their elected Members of Provincial Parliament stand on this issue, and ensure that a genuine public debate emerges prior to the next election,” said Greener.
Recent polling demonstrates that over 80% of Ontarians do not support further tuition fee hikes.
A research paper released today by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations demonstrates that targeted grants will not cushion the blow of higher tuition fees for low and modest income families. It also demonstrates that low and middle income families benefit from a policy of low tuition fees, contrary to claims made by proponents of fee hikes.
In addition to the private member’s bill that would prevent fee hikes until the next election, Marchese has also tabled a private member’s motion urging the Ontario government to use the money realised from the June 2005
federal budget amendment – $1.5 billion – to reduce tuition fees and expand the Ontario up-front grant programme.
The Nova Scotia Legislature has already adopted similar legislation committing the province to reducing tuition fees. “The spirit of the federal budget amendment was to ensure that provinces could take swift action in reducing tuition fees across Canada,” said Greener.
“Given the positive first steps taken by the current government toward affordable, high quality education, we hope Premier Dalton McGuinty and Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Chris Bentley seize this opportunity to chart a fundamentally new course for Ontario families.”
“It would be a shame indeed,” added Greener, “if the new provincial investment in student assistance were clawed back through tuition fee hikes in September 2006.”

Here is my two cents…. the CFS needs to actually consider if the tuition hiking NDP is really trustworthy when it comes to PSE. Personally, I do not trust them. The current Premier is clear:

“Yes (tuition will go up), and the price of milk, bread, rent, mortgage, houses will go up. The issue is by how much,” McGuinty told students. “You would like me to promise tuition fees will never go up again and, in an ideal world, I would love to be able to do that but I can’t. I have to live in this world,” he said.

Sounds like a CPI (inflation) increase of 2 – 3 percent. So for two years we are looking at 4 – 6 percent. Simple math: which government was better for students? The one that increased tuition by 6 percent or the one that increased it by 53%. The one that brought back grants for low income students of 6000 thousands dollars over the first two years or the government that cut all upfront grants to low income students? The government that increased financial aid or the government that cut it?
The CFS claims to be non-partisan but supports the party that did the later? It does not add up. BTW, the non-bias ads in the last provinicial election were mostly coloured orange, that is what passes for non-partisan? Come on!
On a final note, at least McGuinty did not factor in gas prices in his ideas of how much tuition should increase by.