October 10, 2005

Ontario Tuition Freeze to be lifted

Recently, the Premier of Ontario announced that the Ontario Tuition Freeze will be lifted this year. He did this after an infusion of an additional 6 Billion Dollars into Ontario Post-Secondary Education system. The Tuition Freeze was designed to create stability in PSE in Ontario after tuition more than tripled during the period between the Peterson Liberal Government and the McGuinty Liberal Government. (1990 – 2003) The Tuition increases began under the party that the CFS is most closely affiliated with; the NDP. During the Ontario NDP government, tuition increased by 53%. It more that doubled from that during the Tory government from 1995 – 2003. Despite the complete craziness of the NDP tuition fee increases that started it all, in the 1999 and 2003 elections, the CFS strongly supported the NDP. This included campaigns to remove sitting opposition Liberal MPP’s in favour of NDP members. Some blame this direction of energy by the CFS in part for the reelection of some Tory MPPs in 1999 that could have been defeated if students were mobilized to vote for a Liberal in ridings that the NDP could not win. The money spent against the Liberals could have easily been spent against the Tories in this election. In the period between the 1999 and 2003 elections, the Ontario Young Liberals (the youth wing of the Liberal party) called for some stability in PSE in Ontario in the way of a tuition freeze and review of PSE in Ontario. The McGuinty government followed the recommendation of the youth wing and has done this. Now the review is done and McGuinty stated the following:

“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.

Of course, he is right all those things go up in price every year but they do not go up 53% percent in less than five years like tuition did under the NDP (of which the CFS is a defuncto youth wing) government of 1990 – 1995. Come on CFS! CFS fees go up every single year. How can CFS be opposed to a reasonable increase in tuition when the CFS their fees increase every single year!
In response to this statement, the CFS is organizing a massive campaign against the Liberal government and working with the NDP to defeat the government if tuition increases even by inflation. All indications from the goverment is that increases will be modest within one or two percent of the rate of inflation.
Basically, the CFS position is no increase to tuition instead freezes until hell freezes over. They know that this is going to fail but it is a perfect reason to then use student money to campaign for their friends in the NDP.